Research Article

Management of "brittle" diabetes with a preprogrammable implanted insulin pump delivering intraperitoneal insulin.

BMJ 1990; 301 doi: (Published 17 November 1990) Cite this as: BMJ 1990;301:1143
  1. D F Wood,
  2. K Goodchild,
  3. P Guillou,
  4. D J Thomas,
  5. D G Johnston
  1. Department of Clinical Endocrinology, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, St Mary's Hospital Medical School, London.


    OBJECTIVE--Glycaemic control in a young woman with "brittle" diabetes. DESIGN--Use of a preprogrammable fully implanted pump (Infusaid) to deliver insulin intraperitoneally at variable rates, giving a total dose of about 60 units/24 h. SETTING--Endocrinology department in a teaching hospital. PATIENT--Thirty year old woman with 15 years' history of "brittle" diabetes. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Glycated haemoglobin concentration; plasma glucose concentration. RESULTS--After implantation of the pump there was an immediate and sustained improvement in diabetic control. The patient's glycated haemoglobin concentration decreased from 15.2% to 9.2% over seven months. Her daily glucose concentrations were in the range 3.5-12 mmol/l. She has not been admitted to hospital since implantation of the pump, which was eight months before the time of writing. CONCLUSION--The implanted programmable intraperitoneal insulin pump may be of value in the management of patients with "brittle" diabetes in whom other attempts at glycaemic control have failed.