In Type 1 diabetic patients with good glycaemic control, blood glucose variability is lower during continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion than during multiple daily injections with insulin glargine


Daniela Bruttomesso, Cattedra di Malattie del Metabolismo, Policlinico Universitario, Via Giustiniani, 35128 Padova, Italy. E-mail:


Aims  The superiority of continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion (CSII) over multiple daily injections (MDI) with glargine is uncertain. In this randomized cross-over study, we compared CSII and MDI with glargine in patients with Type 1 diabetes well controlled with CSII. The primary end-point was glucose variability.

Methods  Thirty-nine patients [38.1 ± 9.3 years old (mean ± sd), diabetes duration 16.6 ± 8.2 years, glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) 7.6 ± 0.8%], already on CSII for at least 6 months, were randomly assigned to CSII with lispro or MDI with lispro and glargine. After 4 months they were switched to the alternative treatment. During the last month of each treatment blood glucose variability was analysed using glucose standard deviation, mean amplitude of glycaemic excursions (MAGE), lability index and average daily risk range (ADRR). As secondary end-points we analysed blood glucose profile, HbA1c, number of episodes of hypo- and hyperglycaemia, lipid profile, free fatty acids (FFA), growth hormone and treatment satisfaction.

Results  During CSII, glucose variability was 5–12% lower than during MDI with glargine. The difference was significant only before breakfast considering glucose standard deviation (P = 0.011), significant overall using MAGE (P = 0.016) and lability index (P = 0.005) and not significant using ADRR. Although HbA1c was similar during both treatments, during CSII blood glucose levels were significantly lower, hyperglycaemic episodes were fewer, daily insulin dose was less, FFA were lower and treatment satisfaction was greater than during MDI with glargine. The frequency of hypoglycaemic episodes was similar during both treatments.

Conclusions  During CSII, glucose variability is lower, glycaemic control better and treatment satisfaction higher than during MDI with glargine.