Objective: To compare different treatment modalities for patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D) based on real-time continuous glucose monitoring (RT-CGM) or self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) combined with multiple daily injections (MDIs) or continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion (CSII).
Research design and methods: Sixty-five T1D patients were followed up for a year. Of these, 27 started RT-CGM as part of a sensor-augmented insulin regimen (SAIR); within this SAIR group, 15 subjects started sensor-augmented pump (SAP) therapy and the remaining 12 continued with MDIs (MDIs + RT-CGM). A second group of 20 patients initiated CSII without RT-CGM, while a third group of 18 subjects continued on MDIs and SMBG. The main endpoints were reduction of HbA1c, glycemic variability (GV), and incidence of hypoglycemia.
Results: After a year, the baseline mean HbA1c in the SAIR group (8.3%) decreased to 7.1% (P < 0.0001); both SAIR subgroups, SAP and MDIs + RT-CGM, showed comparable improvement. The CSII group also had reduced HbA1c (8.4% ± 0.9% vs. 7.9% ± 0.7%; P < 0.05). Both SAIRs were superior to MDIs (P = 0.002) and CSII (P = 0.0032). GV was also lowered, both in the SAIR (P < 0.0001) and CSII (P < 0.05) groups. Reduced incidence of hypoglycemia was observed only with SAIR (8% ± 4% vs. 6% ± 3%; P < 0.01).
Conclusion: Both SAIRs, SAP and MDIs + RT-CGM, provided significant and comparable decrease of HbA1c with concurrent reduction of hypoglycemia. This improvement was greater than that seen with CSII. The combination of RT-CGM and MDIs can be a suitable alternative to SAP for some patients.