Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the safety and efficacy of continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion (CSII) for type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) in toddlers and children.
Research design and methods: Seventy children who began CSII at the age of 12 yr or younger (youngest 2 yr old) and who were maintained on CSII for at least 6 months were studied by a retrospective chart review. A pre- or postintervention comparison approach was used to assess the impact of CSII on the measured variables. The control period was defined as 1 yr prior to beginning CSII. Charts were reviewed for hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) reports of severe hypoglycemia, diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), height and weight, and range of blood glucoses reported at each visit. Mean values for HbA1c, body mass index (BMI) z-score, and range of blood glucose were computed for each subject over all pre-CSII visits, and again over all post-CSII visits.
Results: The mean HbA1c decreased significantly during CSII [7.8 +/- 0.8% pre-CSII vs. 7.3 +/- 0.7% on CSII, p < 0.0001]. Hypoglycemic episodes decreased with CSII in the 10- to 12-yr-old group (p < 0.02) and demonstrated a strong trend (mean of 0.46-0.22 events per patient year, p < 0.06) overall. Two episodes of DKA occurred in the CSII period and none in the control period (p = NS). BMI z-scores increased to 0.21 in the 5- to 9-yr-age group (p < 0.008) and averaged 0.13 overall. The range of blood glucoses decreased during CSII (p < 0.005) in the middle and oldest age groups.
Conclusions: This study supports CSII as a safe and effective alternative to managing T1DM, with no increase in hypoglycemia and a trend to improve control, even in the youngest patients.