Aim: This study aimed to assess the effectiveness of continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) for glucose control in type 1 diabetic patients treated by continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion (CSII) and presenting with frequent hypoglycaemic episodes.
Methods: Thirteen patients with type 1 diabetes (diabetes duration: 25±15 years; CSII duration: 5.5±7.0 years), with more than six recorded capillary blood glucose (CBG) values <60 mg/dL, according to their metres for the past 14 days, were offered the permanent use of a CGM device (Guardian RT(®), Medtronic) plus ongoing self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) for 12 weeks, followed by a 12-week crossover period of SMBG only, or vice versa. Glucose control, determined by recorded 14-day CBG values <60 mg/dL and HbA(1c) levels, and quality of life according to the Diabetes Quality of Life (DQOL) questionnaire, were assessed at baseline, and after 12- and 24-week follow-ups.
Results: Four patients withdrew from the study during the first period (of whom three were using CGM). In the nine study completers, the number of low CBG values decreased significantly from 13.9±9.2 to 7.6±6.8 (P=0.011) when patients used CGM, in either the initial or final trial period, while a decrease in HbA(1c) from 8.3±0.7 to 7.7±0.6% (P=0.049) was also observed, in contrast to the absence of any significant differences during the SMBG-only period. DQOL scores were also essentially unaffected.
Conclusion: This pilot observational study supports the hypothesis that CGM use can significantly improve overall glucose control while reducing hypoglycaemic episodes in hypoglycaemia-prone type 1 diabetic patients treated by CSII.
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