Fasting and meal-stimulated serum C-peptide in long-standing type 1 diabetes mellitus

Diabet Med. 2023 Feb;40(2):e15012. doi: 10.1111/dme.15012. Epub 2022 Dec 4.


Aims: This study aims to evaluate the stability of C-peptide over time and to compare fasting C-peptide and C-peptide response after mixed-meal tolerance test (MMTT) at T90 or T120 with C-peptide area under the curve (AUC) in long-standing type 1 diabetes.

Methods: We included 607 type 1 diabetes individuals with diabetes duration >5 years. C-peptide concentrations (ultrasensitive assay) were collected in the fasting state, and in a subpopulation after MMTT (T0, just prior to, T30-T60-T90-T120, 30-120 min after ingestion of mixed-meal) (n = 168). Fasting C-peptide concentrations (in n = 535) at Year 0 and Year 1 were compared. The clinical determinants associated with residual C-peptide secretion and the correspondence of C-peptide at MMTT T90 / T120 and total AUC were assessed.

Results: A total of 153 participants (25%) had detectable fasting serum C-peptide (i.e ≥ 3.8 pmol/L). Fasting C-peptide was significantly lower at Year 1 (p < 0.001, effect size = -0.16). Participants with higher fasting C-peptide had a higher age at diagnosis and shorter disease duration and were less frequently insulin pump users. Overall, 109 of 168 (65%) participants had both non-detectable fasting and post-meal serum C-peptide concentrations. The T90 and T120 C-peptide values at MMTT were concordant with total AUC. In 17 (10%) individuals, C-peptide was only detectable at MMTT and not in the fasting state.

Conclusions: Stimulated C-peptide was detectable in an additional 10% of individuals compared with fasting in individuals with >5 years of diabetes duration. T90 and T120 MMTT measurements showed good concordance with the MMTT total AUC. Overall, there was a decrease of C-peptide at 1-year follow-up.

Keywords: C-peptide; fasting; insulin-secreting cells; reproducibility of results; type 1 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose
  • C-Peptide
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1*
  • Fasting
  • Humans
  • Insulin
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells* / physiology
  • Meals


  • C-Peptide
  • Insulin
  • Blood Glucose