Aim: A good understanding of the relevance of interfering factors having an impact on blood glucose (BG) measurement is needed to obtain the required quality. This depends on the application in which meters designed for self-monitoring of BG (SMBG) are used.
Methods: By means of a literature search all publications (from January 1, 1980 to August 10, 2009) were identified that report about the influence of potentially interfering substances/factors on the measurement quality of BG meters.
Results: Certain substances (e.g., maltose) can have a profound and misleading impact on the BG measurement result when the enzymatic reaction embedded on the given test strips cross-reacts. Also, a number of other drugs (e.g., acetaminophen) and factors (like temperature and altitude) affect the reliability of BG measurement massively. However, the susceptibility of the BG meter (depending on the enzyme technology of the test strips) differs significantly.
Conclusions: In daily practice the factors that have a relevant impact on the reliability of BG measurements with modern BG meters are rarely met. Clearly this also depends on the intended use (SMBG in patient hands vs. point-of-care testing in hospitals). To avoid misleading measurement results requires adequate training of all people involved.