Surrogate markers of insulin resistance: A review

World J Diabetes. 2010 May 15;1(2):36-47. doi: 10.4239/wjd.v1.i2.36.


Insulin resistance is a hallmark of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases, and leads to many of the abnormalities associated with metabolic syndrome. Our understanding of insulin resistance has improved tremendously over the years, but certain aspects of its estimation still remain elusive to researchers and clinicians. The quantitative assessment of insulin sensitivity is not routinely used during biochemical investigations for diagnostic purposes, but the emerging importance of insulin resistance has led to its wider application research studies. Evaluation of a number of clinical states where insulin sensitivity is compromised calls for assessment of insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is increasingly being assessed in various disease conditions where it aids in examining their pathogenesis, etiology and consequences. The hyperinsulinemic euglycemic glucose clamp is the gold standard method for the determination of insulin sensitivity, but is impractical as it is labor- and time-intensive. A number of surrogate indices have therefore been employed to simplify and improve the determination of insulin resistance. The object of this review is to highlight various aspects and methodologies for current and upcoming measures of insulin sensitivity/resistance. In-depth knowledge of these markers will help in better understanding and exploitation of the condition.

Keywords: Homeostatis model assessment; Insulin; Insulin resistance; Markers; Quantitative insulin sensitivity check index.