Glucagon


Sunquest Code:GLGN  
Epic Code:LAB1005Epic Name:Glucagon
Synonyms:Pancreatic Glucagon
Methodology:Radioimmunoassay
CPT Code:82943
Turnaround Time:Specimens are sent to reference laboratory Mon-Sat; results are reported in 3-11 days.


Collection Instructions

Specimen:Blood
Optimal Volume:2 mL
Minimum\Peds Volume:1.2 mL
Collection Instructions:A Protease Inhibitor tube (available through ARUP Client Services) and a winged collection set must be used. Filling collection tubes directly through a needle/tube-holder assembly is not recommended and increases the risk of chemical reflux back into the vein of the patient. Collection tubes are not sterile.
Causes for Rejection:Grossly hemolyzed specimens.


Processing and Shipping

Specimen Processing:Centrifuge within 1 hour of collection and aliquot 1 mL, 0.5 mL minimum. Store in freezer.
Shipping Instructions:Ship on dry ice.
Test Performed at or Referral Lab Lab Sendouts  (ARUP)
Referral Lab number:99165 (GLUCA)


Interpretive

Reference Range:Adult: Less than or equal to 208 ng/L. Reference laboratory does not provide reference ranges for patients under 18 years of age.
Use:Glucagon is produced in the alpha cells of the pancreas. It plays an antagonistic role to that of insulin in the regulation of blood glucose levels. Along with epinephrine, glucagon is part of a counter-regulatory system, designed to defend against hypoglycemia. In response to increased glucose utilization, glucagon helps restore circulating levels by stimulating hepatic gluconeogenesis. A variety of factors can influence the glucagon levels of normal healthy individuals. Low blood glucose levels caused by fasting will elevate glucagon, while high glucose levels will decrease glucagon. Stress, exercise, and certain amino acids will also alter normal values. Glucagon deficiencies have been noted in cases of isolated absence of the alpha cells, advanced chronic pancreatitis, and beta adrenergic blockage, and may also be associated with long term sulfonylurea therapy. Abnormally elevated levels (about 500 times the average normal fasting levels) may also be found in autonomously secreting alpha cell tumors (glucagonomas). Increased glucagon levels have also been noted in cases of hyperglycemia due to Cushing's syndrome, acromegaly and multiple endocrine tumor syndrome.


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