Comparison of insulin sensitivity, clearance, and secretion estimates using euglycemic and hyperglycemic clamps in children

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2002 Jun;87(6):2899-905. doi: 10.1210/jcem.87.6.8578.


The euglycemic clamp is the gold standard for estimating insulin sensitivity. The hyperglycemic clamp is easier to perform and is the gold standard for estimating beta-cell secretion. Reports in adults suggest that hyperglycemic clamps can estimate insulin sensitivity with results equivalent to euglycemic clamps. We investigated whether insulin sensitivity measures from both clamps are equivalent in children. Thirty-one lean and obese children (mean body mass index, 25.1 +/- 4.9 kg/m(2); mean age, 8.7 +/- 1.4 yr; 15 girls and 16 boys; 12 black and 19 white) were studied. All subjects underwent hyperglycemic clamps, then euglycemic clamps 2-6 wk later. Body composition was estimated by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry. Visceral and sc abdominal fat was estimated by abdominal magnetic resonance imaging. Whole-body glucose disposal and insulin sensitivity (SI clamp) derived from both clamps and normalized for total or visceral fat and lean mass were significantly correlated (r, 0.45-0.65; P < 0.05). However, absolute SI clamp values were not equivalent. Bland-Altman comparisons found that SI clamp estimates from hyperglycemic clamps became less precise as SI clamp increased. There were significant correlations between indices of beta-cell secretion from the hyperglycemic clamp and mean C-peptide values from the euglycemic clamp (P < 0.05). However, no correlation was found between measures of total insulin clearance (derived from the euglycemic clamp) and surrogates of hepatic insulin clearance (derived from the hyperglycemic clamp). In this cohort of diverse children, SI clamp values from euglycemic and hyperglycemic clamps were significantly correlated but were not equivalent, whereas the insulin clearance measures were not correlated. It cannot be assumed that the hyperglycemic clamp obviates the need for euglycemic clamp studies to accurately estimate insulin sensitivity in children.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • African Continental Ancestry Group
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • European Continental Ancestry Group
  • Female
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Glucose Clamp Technique
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / physiopathology
  • Insulin / physiology*
  • Islets of Langerhans / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Thinness


  • Insulin
  • Glucose