Cook and Chill: Effect of Temperature on the Performance of Nonequilibrated Blood Glucose Meters

J Diabetes Sci Technol. 2015 Aug 20;9(6):1260-9. doi: 10.1177/1932296815598775.


Background: Exposure to extreme temperature can affect the performance of blood glucose monitoring systems. The aim was to determine the non-equilibrated performance of these systems at extreme high and low temperatures that can occur in daily life.

Methods: The performances of 5 test systems, (1) Abbott FreeStyle Freedom Lite, (2) Roche AccuChek Aviva, (3) Bayer Contour, (4) LifeScan OneTouch Verio, and (5) Sanofi BG Star, were compared after "cooking" (50°C for 1 hour) or "chilling" (-5°C for 1 hour) with room temperature controls (23°C) using whole blood with glucose concentrations of 50, 100, and 200 mg/dl.

Results: The equilibration period (time from the end of incubation to when the test system is operational) was between 1 and 8 minutes, and each test system took between 15 and 30 minutes after incubation to obtain stable measurements at room temperature. Incubating the strips at -5°C or 50°C had little effect on the glucose measurement, whereas incubating the meters introduced bias in performance between 0 and 15 minutes but not subsequently, compared to room temperature controls and at all 3 glucose levels.

Conclusions: Compensating technologies embedded within blood glucose monitoring systems studied here perform well at extreme temperatures. People with diabetes need to be alerted to this feature to avoid perceptions of malperformance of their devices and the possible inability to get blood glucose readings on short notice (eg, during time of suspected rapid change or before an unplanned meal).

Keywords: SMBG; glucose; meters; temperature.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Blood Glucose / analysis*
  • Blood Glucose Self-Monitoring / instrumentation*
  • Cold Temperature*
  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Failure
  • Hot Temperature*
  • Humans
  • Materials Testing
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Reagent Strips*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Time Factors


  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Glucose
  • Reagent Strips