Insulin therapy in neonatal diabetes mellitus: a review of the literature

Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2017 Jul:129:126-135. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2017.04.007. Epub 2017 Apr 13.


Aims: Neonatal diabetes mellitus (NDM) is a rare disorder, and guidance is limited regarding its optimal management. We reviewed insulin usage in NDM, with a focus on continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion (CSII).

Methods: A PubMed search identified 40 reports of patients with NDM treated with insulin published between 1994 and 2016.

Results: Data concerning treatment of NDM are limited. CSII resolves some of the issues associated with insulin therapy in neonates. No clinical trials of CSII in NDM have been reported. Case reports suggest that CSII is a safe and effective means of treating NDM. CSII was initiated to improve glycaemic control, for practicality and convenience, and to overcome difficulties associated with the maintenance of long-term intravenous catheters. CSII can provide better glycaemic control than multiple daily injections, with few hypoglycaemic events. Continuous glucose monitoring integrated with the pump helps provide more precise control of blood glucose levels. CSII generally uses short-acting insulin or rapid-acting insulin analogues, and those that are approved for use in neonates appear to be appropriate for the treatment of NDM using an insulin pump.

Conclusions: Information from case reports indicates that CSII is safe and effective for the management of NDM.

Keywords: Diabetes mellitus; Permanent neonatal – diabetes mellitus; Rapid-acting – insulin infusion systems – insulin lispro – insulin aspart; Transient neonatal – insulin.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Insulin / therapeutic use*
  • Insulin Infusion Systems / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male


  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin