Continuous glucose monitoring: the clinical picture. How to interpret and use the data



There is a limited evidence base as to the benefits of continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) in clinical practice, but it is clear that in order to realise improvements in glycaemic control when using CGM there is a requirement for both health care professionals and patients to have the ability to interpret the data obtained from CGM.

This article describes a personal approach to analysing CGM data using a structured approach and reporting tool, with examples to demonstrate how this system is implemented in practice. By viewing the daily overlay, then breaking the CGM traces into overnight, fasting/pre-meal and post-meal phases, and finally looking at the impact of other factors such as exercise, alcohol and work patterns, the user can be educated to make changes to both their insulin regimen and lifestyle to optimise glycaemic control. Those offered CGM as a real-time adjunct to their intensive insulin regimen need to have such a structured approach to get positive re-inforcement and thus use CGM sufficiently frequently to gain real benefit from it. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons.