The euglycemic hyperglycemic clamp is generally regarded as a reference method for assessing insulin sensitivity. However, this method is laborious and expensive. The oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), the most commonly used method for evaluating whole body glucose tolerance, has often been used to assess insulin sensitivity. In the previous studies the correlation between the insulin sensitivity index (ISI) obtained from the OGTT (ISI(OGTT)) and those obtained from the glucose clamp (ISI(Clamp)) may not be satisfactory. This is because the glucose clamp study is designed for measuring peripheral glucose utilization, whereas plasma glucose responses during the OGTT are the results of peripheral glucose utilization and hepatic glucose production. Based on this problem, we developed a new equation, ISI(OGTT), [1.9/6 x body weight (kg) x fasting plasma glucose (mmol/liter) + 520 - 1.9/18 x body weight x area under the glucose curve (mmol/h.liter) - urinary glucose (mmol)/1.8] / [area under the insulin curve (pmol/h.liter) x body weight], which would represent peripheral glucose utilization only. We tested our equation with ISI(Clamp) and also compared with others. Thirty-three healthy volunteers (16 males) with normal glucose tolerance underwent a 75-g, 3-h OGTT on the morning of d 1 and a glucose clamp on the morning of d 2. Their mean (+/-SD) age and body mass index were 30.8 +/- 8.3 yr and 22.0 +/- 3.9 kg/m(2), respectively. The mean (+/-SD) glucose disposal rate and ISI determined by glucose clamp were 27.46 +/- 16.55 micro mol/kg.min and 7.39 +/- 2.72 micro mol/kg.min/pmol.liter, respectively. Pearson's correlation coefficient between our ISI(OGTT) and ISI(Clamp) was 0.869 (P < 0.0001) which was stronger than those corresponding values calculated from HOMA, QUICKI, Belfiore, Cederholm, Gutt, Matsuda, and Stumvoll, the respective values of which were 0.404, 0.434, 0.643, 0.533, 0.584, 0.734, and 0.508. In conclusion, the ISI(OGTT) derived from our equation is more suitable than others in assessing insulin sensitivity in subjects with normal glucose tolerance. Further studies in subjects with impaired glucose tolerance and diabetes mellitus should be performed to confirm the validity of this equation.