Continuous glucose monitoring in neonates: a review

Matern Health Neonatol Perinatol. 2017 Oct 17;3:18. doi: 10.1186/s40748-017-0055-z. eCollection 2017.


Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) is well established in the management of diabetes mellitus, but its role in neonatal glycaemic control is less clear. CGM has provided important insights about neonatal glucose metabolism, and there is increasing interest in its clinical use, particularly in preterm neonates and in those in whom glucose control is difficult. Neonatal glucose instability, including hypoglycaemia and hyperglycaemia, has been associated with poorer neurodevelopment, and CGM offers the possibility of adjusting treatment in real time to account for individual metabolic requirements while reducing the number of blood tests required, potentially improving long-term outcomes. However, current devices are optimised for use at relatively high glucose concentrations, and several technical issues need to be resolved before real-time CGM can be recommended for routine neonatal care. These include: 1) limited point accuracy, especially at low or rapidly changing glucose concentrations; 2) calibration methods that are designed for higher glucose concentrations of children and adults, and not for neonates; 3) sensor drift, which is under-recognised; and 4) the need for dynamic and integrated metrics that can be related to long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes. CGM remains an important tool for retrospective investigation of neonatal glycaemia and the effect of different treatments on glucose metabolism. However, at present CGM should be limited to research studies, and should only be introduced into routine clinical care once benefit is demonstrated in randomised trials.

Keywords: Continuous glucose monitoring; Hyperinsulinaemia; Interstitial glucose; Neonatal hyperglycaemia; Neonatal hypoglycaemia.

Publication types

  • Review