• Open Access

Clinical Assessment of Blood Glucose Homeostasis in Horses: Comparison of a Continuous Glucose Monitoring System with a Combined Intravenous Glucose and Insulin Test Protocol


  • Study was performed at the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO.

Corresponding author: P. J. Johnson, Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, 900 East Campus Drive, Columbia, MO 65211; e-mail: johnsonpj@missouri.edu.


Background: The combined glucose-insulin test (CGIT) is helpful for evaluating insulin sensitivity. A continuous glucose monitoring system (CGMS) reports changes in interstitial glucose concentrations as they occur in the blood. Use of the CGMS minimizes animal contact and may be useful when performing a CGIT.

Hypothesis: Results obtained using a CGMS are useful for the evaluation of glucose responses during the evaluation of insulin sensitivity in equids.

Animals: Seven mature, obese ponies.

Methods: Ponies were equipped with CGMS for determination of interstitial glucose concentrations. Glucose (150 mg/kg, IV) and insulin (0.1 U/kg, IV) were administered and blood glucose concentrations determined at (minutes after time zero) 1, 5, 15, 25, 35, 45, 60, 75, 90, 105, and 120 with a hand-held glucometer. Blood chemistry results were compared with simultaneously obtained results using CGMS.

Results: Concordance coefficients determined for comparison of blood glucose concentrations determined by a hand-held glucometer and those determined by CGMS after the zero time point were 0.623, 0.764, 0.834, 0.854, and 0.818 (for delays of 0, 5, 10, 15, and 20 minutes, respectively).

Conclusions and Clinical Importance: Interstitial glucose concentrations obtained by the CGMS compared favorably to blood glucose concentrations. CGMS may be useful for assessment of glucose dynamics in the CGIT.