Selection of the appropriate method for the assessment of insulin resistance

BMC Med Res Methodol. 2011 Nov 23;11:158. doi: 10.1186/1471-2288-11-158.


Insulin resistance is one of the major aggravating factors for metabolic syndrome. There are many methods available for estimation of insulin resistance which range from complex techniques down to simple indices. For all methods of assessing insulin resistance it is essential that their validity and reliability is established before using them as investigations. The reference techniques of hyperinsulinaemic euglycaemic clamp and its alternative the frequently sampled intravenous glucose tolerance test are the most reliable methods available for estimating insulin resistance. However, many simple methods, from which indices can be derived, have been assessed and validated e.g. homeostasis model assessment (HOMA), quantitative insulin sensitivity check index (QUICKI). Given the increasing number of simple indices of IR it may be difficult for clinicians and researchers to select the most appropriate index for their studies. This review therefore provides guidelines and advices which must be considered before proceeding with a study.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / diagnosis
  • Glucose Clamp Technique / methods*
  • Glucose Tolerance Test / methods*
  • Humans
  • Hyperinsulinism / blood
  • Hyperinsulinism / diagnosis*
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / blood
  • Metabolic Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Blood Glucose