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Continuous Glucose Monitoring Doesn't Improve Control

Study of type 1 diabetics finds it no more useful than traditional self-monitoring of blood glucose

WEDNESDAY, July 12 (HealthDay News) -- In children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes, continuous glucose monitoring system (CGMS)-guided insulin therapy does not result in improved diabetes control compared to intermittent fingerstick self-monitoring of blood glucose and frequent review, according to a study published in the July issue of Diabetes Care.

Kylie Yates, M.B.B.S., of The Children's Hospital in Westmead, Australia, and colleagues studied 36 patients who were randomized to receive either insulin adjustment on the basis of 72 hours of CGMS every three weeks or fingerstick self-monitoring for three months. All the patients had been on intensive diabetes treatment regimens with continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion or glargine for at least three months.

The researchers found that baseline A1C values significantly improved in both groups, but observed no group difference in the degree of A1C improvement at 12 weeks (-0.4 percent for both). They also found the improved A1C values in the CGMS group were associated with an increased duration of hypoglycemia.

"Physicians and patients alike hold great hope for new developments in diabetes care, and there is a temptation to regard evolving technology as a panacea for all the limitations of current management techniques," the authors conclude. "Clinical use of CGMS is still in this first phase and is being tested in a wide range of situations. Our study adds to existing knowledge by demonstrating that the benefits of CGMS are not universal."

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