Importance: Hypoglycemia is a critical obstacle to the care of patients with type 1 diabetes. Sensor-augmented insulin pump with automated low-glucose insulin suspension has the potential to reduce the incidence of major hypoglycemic events.
Objective: To determine the incidence of severe and moderate hypoglycemia with sensor-augmented pump with low-glucose suspension compared with standard insulin pump therapy.
Design, setting, and participants: A randomized clinical trial involving 95 patients with type 1 diabetes, recruited from December 2009 to January 2012 in Australia.
Interventions: Patients were randomized to insulin pump only or automated insulin suspension for 6 months.
Main outcomes and measures: The primary outcome was the combined incidence of severe (hypoglycemic seizure or coma) and moderate hypoglycemia (an event requiring assistance for treatment). In a subgroup, counterregulatory hormone responses to hypoglycemia were assessed using the hypoglycemic clamp technique.
Results: Of the 95 patients randomized, 49 were assigned to the standard-pump (pump-only) therapy and 46 to the low-glucose suspension group. The mean (SD) age was 18.6 (11.8) years; duration of diabetes, 11.0 (8.9) years; and duration of pump therapy, 4.1 (3.4) years. The baseline rate of severe and moderate hypoglycemic events in the pump-only group was 20.7 vs 129.6 events per 100 patient months in the low-glucose suspension group. After 6 months of treatment, the event rates decreased from 28 to 16 in the pump-only group vs 175 to 35 in the low-glucose suspension group. The adjusted incidence rate per 100 patient-months was 34.2 (95% CI, 22.0-53.3) for the pump-only group vs 9.5 (95% CI, 5.2-17.4) for the low-glucose suspension group. The incidence rate ratio was 3.6 (95% CI, 1.7-7.5; P <.001). There was no change in glycated hemoglobin in either group: mean, 7.4 (95% CI, 7.2-7.6) to 7.4 (95% CI, 7.2-7.7) in the pump-only group vs mean, 7.6 (95%, CI, 7.4-7.9) to 7.5 (95% CI, 7.3-7.7) in the low-glucose suspension group. Counterregulatory hormone responses to hypoglycemia were not changed. There were no episodes of diabetic ketoacidosis or hyperglycemia with ketosis.
Conclusions and relevance: Sensor-augmented pump therapy with automated insulin suspension reduced the combined rate of severe and moderate hypoglycemia in patients with type 1 diabetes.
Trial registration: anzctr.org.au Identifier: ACTRN12610000024044.