Papers And Originals

Twenty-four-hour metabolic profiles in diabetic children receiving insulin injections once or twice daily

Br Med J 1980; 281 doi: (Published 09 August 1980) Cite this as: Br Med J 1980;281:414
  1. G A Werther,
  2. P A Jenkins,
  3. R C Turner,
  4. J D Baum


    Twenty-four-hour metabolic profiles were performed twice in each of 15 diabetic children, once when they were receiving single daily injections of insulin (Monotard plus Actrapid) and once on a twice-daily regimen (Semitard plus Actrapid). Before the study control was optimised at home on each regimen. There were no differences in overall 24-hour diabetic control on the two regimens as measured by mean blood glucose concentration, area under the blood glucose curve, M value, and 24-hour urinary glucose excretion. Hyperglycaemia after breakfast occurred on both regimens. Significant differences were noted before breakfast, when blood glucose and ketone concentrations were lower and plasma free insulin higher on the single-injection regimen, and after supper and during the night, when blood glucose values were lower on the two-injection regimen and associated with a rise in plasma free insulin after the evening injection. Once-daily injections provided insufficient circulating insulin after the evening meal, while twice-daily injections did not last through the night. Plasma C peptide, indicating residual endogenous insulin secretion, was just detectable in two children but easily detectable in four children, whose 24-hour diabetic control was significantly better than that in the remaining 11 children.

    Conclusions about the superiority of one insulin regimen over another must be based on specific differences in diabetic control. Both regimens studied achieved adequate control, and though neither provided physiological control specific modifications to the regimens could help to produce more normal profiles.