Background: To evaluate prospectively the clinical value of measuring serum concentrations of 1,5-anhydroglucitol (1,5AG) in monitoring glycaemia in patients with newly diagnosed non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM), we measured serum 1,5AG in 56 such patients.
Methods: 28 patients (group A) were started on, and continuously received, an oral hypoglycaemic agent for at least 6 weeks. The other 28 patients (group B) were given such agents for 4 weeks, and then stopped taking them for at least 2 weeks. All patients were then followed for an additional 10 weeks. Serum 1,5AG, fructosamine, glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c), and self-monitoring of blood glucose were monitored every 14 days for 16 weeks.
Findings: When sudden worsening of glycaemia occurred within 2 weeks, entailing withdrawal of oral treatment, 1,5AG accurately detected the slight change in glycaemia whereas HbA1c and fructosamine both failed to detect it. Although the change was detected by measurement of fasting plasma glucose (FPG) concentrations, FPG was less sensitive than 1,5AG. In patients with "near-normoglycaemia" (HbA1c about 6.5%) in the preceding 8 weeks, those who showed a lower concentration of 1,5AG (<10.0 micrograms/mL) manifested a higher mean daily plasma glucose concentration even though HbA1c measurement suggested good control of glycaemia. Results of 1,5AG were correlated more strongly with the FPG (r=0.790) and mean daily plasma glucose (r=-0.835) estimated on the same day than those estimaoffted in the preceding 2, 4 and 8 weeks, and with a fall in the Spearman correlation coefficient at any preceding time interval.
Interpretation: Because 1,5AG accurately detected a slight change in glycaemia without delay, it is suitable for use in monitoring for strict control of glycaemia, an important clinical goal.