Assessment of insulin sensitivity from plasma insulin and glucose in the fasting or post oral glucose-load state

Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1999 May;23(5):512-7. doi: 10.1038/sj.ijo.0800864.


Objective: To compare insulin sensitivity indexes derived from plasma insulin (I) and glucose (G) in the basal state (Sib) and at the second hour (I2h and G2h) of an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT, Si2h) (i) with measurements of insulin sensitivity using the insulin modified frequently sampled intravenous glucose tolerance test (FSIVGTT) [Si(IVGTT)] and (ii) with modelling of fasting glucose and insulin by the homeostasis model assessment (HOMA).

Subjects: 47 subjects entered the study. 31 subjects were classified as having normal glucose tolerance (NGT), 10 as having impaired tolerance to glucose (IGT) and six as type 2 diabetes mellitus according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) criteria.

Measurements: Sib and Si2h were calculated as follows. Sib = 10(8)/(I x G x VD), Si2h = 10(8)/(I2hr x G2hr x VD) where VD is an estimate of the apparent glucose distribution volume. A third insulin sensitivity index (SiM) was calculated by averaging Sib and Si2h. HOMA was calculated as follows: I/(22.5 x e(-lnG)) RESULTS: Si(IVGTT), Sib, SI2h and SiM were all significantly higher in subjects with NGT than in those with IGT or type 2 diabetes. Si(IVGTT) was highly correlated (P < or = 0.0001) with the three insulin sensitivity indexes found in the total population, in subjects with NGT and in those with IGT. In type 2 diabetic patients, a significant correlation was only noted when SiM was tested against Si(IVGTT) (P < or = 0.05). In most circumstances, the associations of Si(IVGTT) with Sib, SI2h and SiM were stronger than the corresponding associations with Ib, I2h or HOMA. SiM was the index that correlated best with Si(IVGTT) in the whole group (r = 0.92, P < 0.0001) as well as in NGT (r = 0.86, P < 0.0001), IGT (r = 0.96; P < 0.0001) and type 2 diabetes (r = 0.83, P < or = 0.05) subgroups.

Conclusions: Calculations of sensitivity indexes from G and I concentrations in the basal state and during a conventional 2 h OGTT appear to be useful for coupling in the same simple and single test both a determination of glucose tolerance and an estimate of insulin sensitivity.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Basal Metabolism
  • Blood Glucose*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood*
  • Fasting
  • Female
  • Glucose Intolerance / blood*
  • Glucose Tolerance Test / standards
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood*
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Time Factors


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin