Aims/hypothesis: The value of managing children with type 1 diabetes using a combination of insulin pump and continuous glucose monitoring starting from diagnosis for improving subsequent glycaemic control and preserving residual beta cell function was determined.
Methods: A total of 160 children (aged 1-16 years, mean ± SD: 8.7 ± 4.4 years; 47.5% girls) were randomised to receive insulin pump treatment with continuous glucose monitoring or conventional self-monitoring blood glucose measurements. The primary outcome was the level of HbA(1c) after 12 months. Other analyses included fasting C-peptide, glycaemic variability, sensor usage, adverse events, children's health-related quality of life and parent's wellbeing.
Results: HbA(1c) was not significantly different between the two groups, but patients with regular sensor use had lower values (mean 7.1%, 95% CI 6.8-7.4%) compared with the combined group with no or low sensor usage (mean 7.6%, 95% CI 7.3-7.9%; p=0.032). At 12 months, glycaemic variability was lower in the sensor group (mean amplitude of glycaemic excursions 80.2 ± 26.2 vs 92.0 ± 33.7; p=0.037). Higher C-peptide concentrations were seen in sensor-treated 12- to 16-year-old patients (0.25 ± 0.12 nmol/l) compared with those treated with insulin pump alone (0.19 ± 0.07 nmol/l; p=0.033). Severe hypoglycaemia was reported only in the group without sensors (four episodes).
Conclusion/interpretation: Sensor-augmented pump therapy starting from the diagnosis of type 1 diabetes can be associated with less decline in fasting C-peptide particularly in older children, although regular sensor use is a prerequisite for improved glycaemic control.
Trial registration: ISRCTN.org ISRCTN05450731
Funding: Medtronic International Trading Sàrl, Tolochenaz, Switzerland.