Simultaneous assessment of insulin secretion and insulin sensitivity using a hyperglycemia clamp

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1992 Aug;75(2):379-82. doi: 10.1210/jcem.75.2.1639939.


A hyperglycemic clamp is an established method to assess insulin secretion and is generally used only for this purpose. To determine whether it could also be used to assess insulin sensitivity, we compared insulin sensitivity indices (ISI) obtained during euglycemic and hyperglycemic clamp experiments in 22 nonobese volunteers (body mass index, 23.9 +/- 0.6 kg/m2) and in 20 obese individuals (body mass index, 30.8 +/- 1.3 kg/m2) matched for age and gender. The ISI values (micromoles per kg.min/pmol) of the obese group assessed during hyperglycemic (0.088 +/- 0.011) and euglycemic (0.050 +/- 0.005) clamp experiments were both significantly lower than the ISI of the nonobese group assessed in hyperglycemic and euglycemic clamp experiments (0.179 +/- 0.024 and 0.096 +/- 0.009, respectively; both P less than 0.01). Although the ISI values obtained with hyperglycemic clamps were consistently greater than those obtained with euglycemic clamp (0.137 +/- 0.016 vs. 0.075 +/- 0.007; P less than 0.001), they were highly correlated (r = 0.84; P less than 0.0001). Moreover, when these indices were converted to clearance rates, thereby correcting for the mass action effects of glucose on glucose disposal, the values obtained with the hyperglycemic clamp (0.0137 +/- 0.0016 mL/kg.min/pmol) were statistically identical to those obtained with the euglycemic clamp (0.0142 +/- 0.0013 mL/kg.min/pmol), as indicated by a regression equation having an intercept of 0 and a slope (1.03) not different from 1. We, therefore, conclude that the hyperglycemic clamp and the euglycemic clamp yield comparable estimates of insulin sensitivity and that, under appropriate conditions, the hyperglycemic clamp technique may be used to assess both insulin sensitivity and insulin secretion in the same individual in a single experiment.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Body Mass Index
  • Glucose Clamp Technique*
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin / metabolism*
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Insulin Secretion
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Osmolar Concentration
  • Reference Values


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin