The short insulin tolerance test for determination of insulin sensitivity: a comparison with the euglycaemic clamp

Diabet Med. 1992 Jun;9(5):432-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-5491.1992.tb01813.x.


The glucose clamp technique is currently regarded as the standard test for measuring insulin sensitivity against which other methods are compared but is unsuitable for routine screening of patients outside a hospital base. There is thus a need for a simpler test to measure insulin sensitivity. We have therefore compared the glucose disappearance rate KITT in the first 15 min of the insulin tolerance test (ITT) with the M and M/I values derived from the standard euglycaemic clamp in nine normal subjects and eight subjects with Type 2 (non-insulin dependent) diabetes mellitus and coexisting obesity. All subjects underwent the ITT and euglycaemic clamp in random order. Nine subjects later had a repeat ITT to determine the reproducibility of the test. In the ITT, 0.1 U kg-1 body weight, human Actrapid insulin was given as an IV bolus and simultaneous arterialized and venous blood samples were obtained every minute for 15 min. The first order rate constant for the disappearance of glucose KITT over the period 3-15 min was taken as a measure of insulin sensitivity. The euglycaemic clamp was performed with an insulin infusion of 50 mU kg-1 h-1 for 120 min and a variable rate glucose infusion to maintain blood glucose concentration at 0.5 mmol l-1 below fasting level to minimize the effect of endogenous insulin secretion. The ratio of the mean rate of glucose infused (M, mumol kg-1 min-1) to the plasma insulin over the last 30 min of the clamp was taken as a measure of tissue sensitivity to insulin (M/I) assuming endogenous glucose output was suppressed.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood*
  • Epinephrine / blood
  • Female
  • Glucagon / blood
  • Glucose Clamp Technique*
  • Growth Hormone / blood
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / blood
  • Insulin* / blood
  • Insulin* / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Norepinephrine / blood
  • Reference Values


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Growth Hormone
  • Glucagon
  • Hydrocortisone
  • Norepinephrine
  • Epinephrine