Aims/hypothesis: The aim of this study was to assess whether the dual-hormone (insulin and glucagon) artificial pancreas reduces hypoglycaemia compared with the single-hormone (insulin alone) artificial pancreas during two types of exercise.
Methods: An open-label randomised crossover study comparing both systems in 17 adults with type 1 diabetes (age, 37.2 ± 13.6 years; HbA1c, 8.0 ± 1.0% [63.9 ± 10.2 mmol/mol]) during two exercise types on an ergocycle and matched for energy expenditure: continuous (60% [Formula: see text] for 60 min) and interval (2 min alternating periods at 85% and 50% [Formula: see text] for 40 min, with two 10 min periods at 45% [Formula: see text] at the start and end of the session). Blocked randomisation (size of four) with a 1:1:1:1 allocation ratio was computer generated. The artificial pancreas was applied from 15:30 hours until 19:30 hours; exercise was started at 18:00 hours and announced 20 min earlier to the systems. The study was conducted at the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal.
Results: During single-hormone control compared with dual-hormone control, exercise-induced hypoglycaemia (plasma glucose <3.3 mmol/l with symptoms or <3.0 mmol/l regardless of symptoms) was observed in four (23.5%) vs two (11.8%) interventions (p = 0.5) for continuous exercise and in six (40%) vs one (6.25%) intervention (p = 0.07) for interval exercise. For the pooled analysis (single vs dual hormone), the median (interquartile range) percentage time spent at glucose levels below 4.0 mmol/l was 11% (0.0-46.7%) vs 0% (0-0%; p = 0.0001) and at glucose levels between 4.0 and 10.0 mmol/l was 71.4% (53.2-100%) vs 100% (100-100%; p = 0.003). Higher doses of glucagon were needed during continuous (0.126 ± 0.057 mg) than during interval exercise (0.093 ± 0.068 mg) (p = 0.03), with no reported side-effects in all interventions.
Conclusions/interpretation: The dual-hormone artificial pancreas outperformed the single-hormone artificial pancreas in regulating glucose levels during announced exercise in adults with type 1 diabetes.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01930110 FUNDING: : Société Francophone du Diabète and Diabète Québec.
Keywords: Artificial pancreas; Exercise; Glucagon; Hypoglycaemia; Type 1 diabetes.