Tuesday, April 25, 2017

C Peptide levels : An Overview

Hello everyone!So I ended up uttering 'C peptide' recently in my Medicine Viva and my professor screwed me over it.
(Clearly I didn't C it through :'D )
So I thought of doing a brief summary on it.
Here goes.

1. What is C peptide ?
- When pro- insulin is cleaved , it gives insulin and C peptide.
- C peptide in general has a longer half life than insulin and is easier to detect.
- The pathway is something like this :

Pre proinsulin produced in Rough Endoplasmic Reticulum of Pancreas --> Transported to the Golgi apparatus and cleaved to form Proinsulin -->  Packed into secretory granules --> In these granules proinsulin is converted to : Insulin and C peptide

- Traditionally it is said to have no intrinsic activity but recent studies say it might have anti oxidant and anti inflammatory properties.   

2. What does it indicate ?
- So , its presence indicates presence of Insulin in the body in a proportionate amount.
- Hence in a case of Hypoglycemia if C peptide levels are high, it's likely to be due to increased endogenous Insulin levels.

3. C peptide levels increased in -
- Insulinoma
- Sulfonylurea induced Hypoglycemia ( As they are Insulin Secretagogues)
- Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus ( Hyperinsulinism due to resistance)
- Insulin Resistance states like Obesity , PCOS , Cushing's.

4. C peptide levels reduced in -
- Type 1 Diabetes as Insulin secretion is reduced
- Latent Autoimmune Diabetes of Adult (LADA )
- Factitious hypoglycemia - Due to excess exogenous Insulin administration.
- Hypoglycemia due IGF secreting tumors.

So if you get a patient with Hypoglycemia with elevated insulin levels , C peptide levels help you decide if due to exogenous Insulin , or Endogenous Insulin  ( Sulfonylurea induced or Insulinoma).

Hope this helped !
Stay awesome.
Happy studying!
~ A.P Burkholderia.

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