Continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion versus multiple daily injections in individuals with type 1 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Endocrine. 2017 Jan;55(1):77-84. doi: 10.1007/s12020-016-1039-x. Epub 2016 Aug 1.


The relative efficacy of continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion and multiple daily injections in individuals with type 1 diabetes is unclear. We sought to synthesize the existing evidence about the effect of continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion on glycosylated hemoglobin, hypoglycemic events, and time spent in hypoglycemia compared to multiple daily injections. We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and Database of Systematic Reviews, and Scopus from January 2008 through November 2015 for randomized controlled trials that enrolled children or adults with type 1 diabetes. Trials identified in a previous systematic review and published prior to 2008 were also included. We included 25 randomized controlled trials at moderate risk of bias. Meta-analysis showed a significant reduction in glycosylated hemoglobin in patients treated with continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion compared to multiple daily injections (mean difference 0.37; 95 % confidence interval, 0.24-0.51). This effect was demonstrated in both children and adults. There was no significant difference in minor or severe hypoglycemic events. Continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion was associated with lower incidence of nocturnal hypoglycemia. There was no significant difference in the time spent in hypoglycemia. In children and adults with type 1 diabetes and compared to multiple daily injections, continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion is associated with a modest reduction in glycosylated hemoglobin. There was no difference in severe or minor hypoglycemia, but likely a lower incidence of nocturnal hypoglycemia with continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion.

Keywords: Continuous subcutaneous infusion; Diabetes; Diabetes mellitus type 1; Insulin; Multiple daily injections; Systematic review.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Circadian Rhythm
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / drug therapy*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine*
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / analysis
  • Health Transition
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / epidemiology
  • Hyperglycemia / prevention & control*
  • Hypoglycemia / chemically induced
  • Hypoglycemia / epidemiology
  • Hypoglycemia / prevention & control*
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / adverse effects
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Incidence
  • Injections, Subcutaneous
  • Insulin / administration & dosage*
  • Insulin / adverse effects
  • Insulin / therapeutic use
  • Insulin Infusion Systems* / adverse effects
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Therapeutic Equivalency


  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin
  • hemoglobin A1c protein, human