Glucagon Stimulation Test


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Subject: Glucagon Stimulation Test

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Definition and Use

  • Failure of glucagon to increase after arginine stimulation is seen in glucagon deficiencies such as cystic fibrosis and chronic pancreatitis.

  • This test is of rare clinical utility.

  • After fasting overnight, an IV infusion of 0.5 g arginine/kg (not >30 g) should be given over 30 minutes. Fasting samples should be drawn at 15, 30, 45, and 60 minutes.

  • Normal range: peak glucagon concentration at 30 minutes: 100–1,500 pg/mL.


  • Arginine also stimulates insulin.

  • There is an exaggerated response in diabetes, chronic renal failure, and liver failure.