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Minerva Endocrinologica 2013 September;38(3):321-8

language: English

Fields of application of continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion in the treatment of diabetes and implications in the use of rapid-acting insulin analogues

Pitocco D., Rizzi A., Scavone G., Tanese L., Zaccardi F., Manto A., Ghirlanda G.

Diabetes Care Unit, Agostino Gemelli Hospital, Università Cattolica, Rome, Italy


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In western countries, diabetes mellitus, because of macrovascular and microvascular complications related to it, is still an important cause of death. Patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) have a six-time higher risk of mortality than healthy patients. Since the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) established how an intensive therapy is necessary to prevent diabetes mellitus complications, many studies have been conducted to understand which method is able to reach an optimal metabolic control. In the past 30 years continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion established/introduced as a validate alternative to multiple daily injections. Several trials demonstrated that, when compared to MDI, CSII brings to a better metabolic control, in terms of a reduction of glycated hemoglobin and blood glucose variability, hypoglycemic episodes and improvement in quality of life. Because of their pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic characteristics, rapid-action insulin analogues are imposed as best insulin to be used in CSII. The rapid onset and the fast reached peak make them better mimic the way how pancreas secretes insulin. CSII by pump is not free from issues. Catheter occlusions, blockages, clogs can arrest insulin administration. The consequent higher levels of glycemic values, can easily bring to the onset of ketoacidosis, with an high risk for patients’ life. Aspart is a rapid analogue obtained by aminoacidic substitution. It is as effective as lispro and glulisine in gaining a good metabolic control and even better in reducing glucose variability. Some studies tried to compare rapid analogues in terms of stability. Obtained data are controversial. An in vivo study evidenced higher stability or glulisine, while studies in vitro highlighted a higher safety of aspart. Nowadays it is not possible to assess which analogues is safer. When the infusion set is changed every 48 hours equivalent rates of occlusions have been observed.

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dario.pitocco@rm.unicatt.it