Benefits of continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion in children with type 1 diabetes

J Pediatr. 2003 Dec;143(6):796-801. doi: 10.1067/S0022-3476(03)00579-1.


Objective: To examine the effect of continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion (CSII) therapy on parameters affecting long-term outcome in type 1 diabetes. Study design Height, weight, body mass index, insulin dose, glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA(1C)), and blood glucose data from home meter downloads were collected prospectively for analysis in 51 children (age, 10.7+/-3.1 years, mean+/-SD) throughout the 12 months before and after introducing CSII.

Results: Before pump initiation, HbA(1C) was relatively stable, but it fell to 7.7+/-0.2% (P<.001) within 3 months of CSII and remained decreased (7.9+/-0.1%) at 12 months (P<.01). In contrast, weight standard deviation score increased before CSII (from 0.50+/-0.13 to 0.60+/-0.13, P<.05), but remained unchanged (0.61+/-0.11) in the year thereafter. Although severe hypoglycemia (<50 mg/dL) was reduced in the entire cohort, HbA(1C) improved primarily in young children and teenagers. Comparison of glycemic responders (HbA(1C) <7.5, or a decrease >1% on CSII, n=23) with nonresponders demonstrated no differences with respect to gender, socioeconomic status, weight standard deviation score, body mass index, initial HbA(1C), frequency of hypoglycemia, or number of education visits before CSII.

Conclusion: Continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion is effective in lowering HbA(1C) and the occurrence of severe nocturnal hypoglycemia without excessive weight gain in most children with type 1 diabetes. HbA(1C) response to CSII is poorer in preadolescents than in young children or teenagers.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemia / chemically induced
  • Hypoglycemia / prevention & control*
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / adverse effects
  • Infant
  • Infusions, Parenteral
  • Insulin / administration & dosage*
  • Insulin / adverse effects
  • Insulin Infusion Systems
  • Male
  • Weight Gain / drug effects*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin