Background and aims: The aim of this study was to compare blood glucose and plasma insulin profiles after bolus insulin infusion by a patch pump (PP) versus a conventional pump (CP), directly after placement and after Day 3 of use.
Patients and methods: Twenty patients with type 1 diabetes came in for two blocks of visits: one block of two visits while wearing the OmniPod® (Insulet Corp., Bedford, MA) insulin pump (PP) and one block of two visits while wearing the Medtronic Diabetes (Northridge, CA) Paradigm® pump (CP). Patients administered an identical mealtime insulin bolus of at least 6 IU.
Results: For PP, maximum glucose levels were 28.7% lower on Day 3 (P=0.020), when maximum insulin levels were 30.3% higher (P=0.002). For CP, maximum glucose levels were 26.5% lower on Day 3 (P=0.015), when maximum insulin levels were 46.4% higher (P=0.003). Glucose levels (mean [interquartile range]) were significantly lower on Day 3 for PP (168.2 [145.8] mg/dL vs. 139.4 [77.8] mg/dL; P=0.013), but not significantly so for CP (159.0 [66.1] mg/dL vs. 139.5 [57.9] mg/dL; P=0.084). Mean insulin levels were significantly higher on Day 3 for CP (195  pmol/L vs. 230  pmol/L; P=0.01), but not significantly so for PP (178  pmol/L vs. 194  pmol/L; P=0.099). There were no significant differences between the two catheter lengths.
Conclusions: Postprandial glycemic excursions were lower on Day 3 of catheter wear time, but there were no differences between PPs and CPs. These findings support the proposal that catheter wear time plays an important role in insulin absorption.