The effectiveness of continuous subcutaneous insulin pumps with continuous glucose monitoring in outpatient adolescents with type 1 diabetes: A systematic review

JBI Libr Syst Rev. 2012;10(42 Suppl):1-10. doi: 10.11124/jbisrir-2012-170.


Review question/objective: The review question is: Are metabolic outcomes improved in outpatient adolescents (aged 13 to 19 years) with type 1 diabetes on a Continuous Subcutaneous Insulin Infusion (CSII) when continuous glucose monitoring is used, compared to self-glucose monitoring alone?

Background: Type 1 diabetes is the most common childhood paediatric disease, characterised by impairment of insulin producing βeta-cells in the pancreas. Internationally, there is variation in the incidence of type 1 diabetes in paediatric patients. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Study Group, the overall incidence rate of this autoimmune disease is 24.3/100,000 in those 19 years of age . Annually, more than 15,000 children and adolescents are diagnosed in the United States (US) . From 1990 to 1999, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched the Multinational Project for Childhood Diabetes (DIAMOND), which was tasked with assessing type 1 diabetes in those 14 years or younger worldwide . Finland was discovered to have the highest age-adjusted incidence at 40.9 cases per 100,000/year. The lowest age-adjusted incidence is in China and Venezuela at 0.1 cases per 100,000/year. Globally, the largest increase in incidence is in those aged 10 to 14 years . This systematic review will focus on adolescent patients with type 1 diabetes, aged 13 to 19 years who manage their diabetes with an insulin pump.Patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus typically present with a history of polydipsia, polyuria, polyphagia, and weight loss . Initial findings include hyperglycemia, glycosuria, and ketones in the blood or urine . In 2009, the International Expert Committee deemed a haemoglobin A1C (glycosylated haemoglobin) of 6.5% or higher to be the standard for diagnosis . The American Diabetes Association (ADA) as well as the International Diabetes Federation and the European Association Study of Diabetes (EASD) accept this measure as the diagnostic tool for diabetes. Haemoglobin A1C is the most commonly used measurement for patients with type 1 diabetes . It refers to the measurement of the amount of glucose bound to haemoglobin. It is an average of blood glucose levels for the last 120 days, which is consistent with the average life span of a red blood cell (RBC).Compensation for the lack of insulin-secreting βeta-cells is accomplished through administration of insulin. For adolescents, insulin dosing is based on pubescent status, age, weight, activity level, and amount of carbohydrates consumed . Insulin administration, carbohydrate counting, and correction of hyperglycemia are necessary for maintaining glycemic control. Insulin can be administered through multiple daily injections (MDI) of rapid, intermediate and long-acting insulin .Another form of insulin delivery is the Continuous Subcutaneous Insulin Infusion (CSII), also known as an insulin pump, which is designed to meet physiological requirements through programmable basal rates and bolus doses . CSII's utilise rapid-acting insulin and establish a basal rate, which replaces the need for long-acting insulin. Bolus dosing is accomplished through adjusting the pump and is utilised to account for nutritional intake as well as hyperglycemia correction. Adjustments are also made for physical activity and exercise, as this can affect glucose levels . All patients considered in this systematic review will be utilising insulin pumps.In 2006, the United States had more than 35,000 patients, under the age of 21 years, receiving insulin therapy through an insulin pump . In Europe, the percentage of people with type 1 diabetes utilising a CSII is lower, potentially due to variation in health care coverage . There are various forms of insulin pumps, all with similar capabilities including a dose calculator for high blood glucose correction and carbohydrate ratios, programming software, and several other features . Software and programming is specific to each manufacturer. Basal rate abilities vary in each model from 0.05 units/hour to 30 units/hour . Information from the pump can be uploaded to online registries allowing providers to review trends and usage. It is imperative the information is reviewed concurrently with glucose monitoring results in order to ensure appropriate dosing and treatment .The intervention considered in this systematic review is the use of continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) in conjunction with a CSII. CGM utilises a sensor placed in the interstitial subcutaneous tissue, which then measures glucose levels. This is accomplished with "electrochemical sensors that use glucose oxidase and measure an electric current generated when glucose reacts with oxygen. The sensors are coated with a specialised membrane to make them biocompatible" . The CGM has programmable high and low levels to alert the user when the limit is being reached. Information regarding continuous glucose levels can then be downloaded and reviewed. Based on the report, providers, patients, and caregivers may assess trends and consider changing basal rates or bolus doses .CGM sensors currently do not offer a closed-loop solution. The user must enter insulin dosing information into the pump, taking into account the present glucose level and duration of action of the insulin. Currently, CGMs are regarded as a supplemental method for assessing the effectiveness of glucose control. Existing studies are underway to improve accuracy and communication between the sensor and insulin pump with the goal to develop an artificial pancreas . Currently, CGM sensors must be calibrated with a glucometer, as specified by the manufacturer .The comparison for this review is the standard of care, self-glucose monitoring (SGM), in patients with insulin pumps . SGM is accomplished with a glucometer and blood sample typically obtained from a finger prick. The Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) demonstrated frequency of monitoring improves glycemic control and decreases the risk of comorbidity . Data from this significant study continues to contribute to current diabetes management. According to the ADA, children and adolescents should monitor their blood glucose at least three or more times per day. Blood glucose data is utilised to calculate appropriate insulin doses. Similar to the CGM, information from the glucometers can be downloaded for assessment of results and trends. However, the result is dependent on the action of the patient to obtain the sample and only represents a specific moment in time whereas the CGM sensor continuously tracks the blood glucose level. Depending on the model, CGM can provide glucose levels every one to ten minutes. The sensor may last for up to 72 hours and results are available in real time .This systematic review will address two metabolic outcomes: a decrease in the number of hypoglycemic episodes and a haemoglobin A1C level <7.5%. These outcomes were chosen due to their significance as indicators in the management of type 1 diabetes. Glucose levels should be between 90 mg/dL and 130 mg/dL (5.0mmol/l and 7.2mmol/l) before meals and between 90 mg/dL and 150 mg/dL at night (5.0mmmol/l and 8.3mmol/l) . Optimal care of an adolescent with type 1 diabetes mellitus is to safely maintain glycemic control and avoid hypoglycemia.Haemoglobin A1C is an indicator of how well the disease is being managed and should be evaluated every three months. McCulloch recommends the haemoglobin A1C level should be compared to approximately 50 recent blood glucose readings to ensure the accuracy of patient SGM . The reliability and validity of this test is based on the evidence discovered by the DCCT demonstrating those with lower haemoglobin A1C levels have fewer complications . The target A1C for adolescents, aged 13 to 19 years of age, is <7.5% . This is consistent with the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) and diabetes management guidelines of the Australasian Paediatric Endocrine Group for the Department of Health and Ageing .An initial search for a systematic review regarding insulin pumps in adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus and concurrent use of CGM was conducted in the Joanna Briggs Institute Library of Systematic Reviews, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and PubMed. No systematic reviews were found.