Effect of artificial pancreas systems on glycaemic control in patients with type 1 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of outpatient randomised controlled trials

Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol. 2017 Jul;5(7):501-512. doi: 10.1016/S2213-8587(17)30167-5. Epub 2017 May 19.


Background: Closed-loop artificial pancreas systems have been in development for several years, including assessment in numerous varied outpatient clinical trials. We aimed to summarise the efficacy and safety of artificial pancreas systems in outpatient settings and explore the clinical and technical factors that can affect their performance.

Methods: We did a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials comparing artificial pancreas systems (insulin only or insulin plus glucagon) with conventional pump therapy (continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion [CSII] with blinded continuous glucose monitoring [CGM] or unblinded sensor-augmented pump [SAP] therapy) in adults and children with type 1 diabetes. We searched Medline, Embase, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials for studies published from 1946, to Jan 1, 2017. We excluded studies not published in English, those involving pregnant women or participants who were in hospital, and those testing adjunct medications other than glucagon. The primary outcome was the mean difference in percentage of time blood glucose concentration remained in target range (3·9-10 mmol/L or 3·9-8 mmol/L, depending on the study), assessed by random-effects meta-analysis. This study is registered with PROSPERO, number 2015:CRD42015026854.

Findings: We identified 984 reports; after exclusions, 27 comparisons from 24 studies (23 crossover and one parallel design) including a total of 585 participants (219 in adult studies, 265 in paediatric studies, and 101 in combined studies) were eligible for analysis. Five comparisons assessed dual-hormone (insulin and glucagon), two comparisons assessed both dual-hormone and single-hormone (insulin only), and 20 comparisons assessed single-hormone artificial pancreas systems. Time in target was 12·59% higher with artificial pancreas systems (95% CI 9·02-16·16; p<0·0001), from a weighted mean of 58·21% for conventional pump therapy (I2=84%). Dual-hormone artificial pancreas systems were associated with a greater improvement in time in target range compared with single-hormone systems (19·52% [95% CI 15·12-23·91] vs 11·06% [6·94 to 15·18]; p=0·006), although six of seven comparisons compared dual-hormone systems to CSII with blinded CGM, whereas 21 of 22 single-hormone comparisons had SAP as the comparator. Single-hormone studies had higher heterogeneity than dual-hormone studies (I2 79% vs 66%). Bias assessment characteristics were incompletely reported in 12 of 24 studies, no studies masked participants to the intervention assignment, and masking of outcome assessment was not done in 12 studies and was unclear in 12 studies.

Interpretation: Artificial pancreas systems uniformly improved glucose control in outpatient settings, despite heterogeneous clinical and technical factors.

Funding: None.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / prevention & control*
  • Hypoglycemia / prevention & control*
  • Pancreas, Artificial*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic*