Use of the Site of Subcutaneous Insulin Administration for the Measurement of Glucose in Patients with Type 1 Diabetes

  1. Stefan Lindpointner, MD1,
  2. Stefan Korsatko, MD1,
  3. Gerd Köhler, MD1,
  4. Hans Köhler, MSC2,
  5. Roland Schaller, MSC2,
  6. Ruthy Kaidar, MSC3,
  7. Ofer Yodfat, MD3,
  8. Lukas Schaupp, PHD1,2,
  9. Martin Ellmerer, PHD1,
  10. Thomas R Pieber, MD1,2 and
  11. Werner Regittnig, PHD (werner.regittnig{at}
  1. 1Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Nuclear Medicine, Medical University of Graz, Auenbruggerplatz 15, A-8036, Graz, Austria
  2. 2Institute of Medical Technologies and Health Management, Joanneum Research Forschungsgesellschaft mbH, Elisabethstrasse 11a, A-8010 Graz, Austria
  3. 3Medingo Ltd., Yoqneam Illit Industrial Park, 20692 Yoqneam Illit, Israel


Objective - In order to simplify and improve the treatment of patients with type 1 diabetes, we ascertained whether the site of subcutaneous insulin infusion can be used for the measurement of glucose.

Research design and methods - Three special indwelling catheters (24-gauge microperfusion (MP) catheters) were inserted into the subcutaneous adipose tissue of subjects with type 1 diabetes (n=10; all C-peptide negative). One MP catheter was perfused with short-acting insulin (100 U/ml, Aspart), and used for insulin delivery and simultaneous glucose sampling during an overnight fast and after ingestion of a standard glucose load (75g). As controls, the further two MP catheters were perfused with an insulin-free solution (5%-mannitol), and used for glucose sampling only. Plasma glucose was measured frequently at the bedside.

Results - Insulin delivery with the MP catheter was adequate to achieve and maintain normoglycemia during fasting and after glucose ingestion. Tissue glucose concentrations derived with the insulin-perfused catheter agreed well with plasma glucose levels. Median correlation coefficient and median absolute relative difference values were found to be 0.93 (interquartile range: 0.91-0.97) and 10.9%, respectively. Error grid analysis indicated that the percentage number of tissue values falling in the clinically acceptable range is 99.6%. Comparable analysis results were obtained for the two mannitol-perfused catheters.

Conclusions - Our data suggest that estimation of plasma glucose concentrations from the glucose levels directly observed at the site of subcutaneous insulin infusion is feasible and its quality is comparable to that of estimating plasma glucose concentrations from glucose levels measured in insulin-unexposed subcutaneous tissue.


    • Received August 16, 2009.
    • Accepted December 19, 2009.