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Hofer S. 1, Meraner D. 1, Koehle J. 2
1 Department of Pediatrics. Medical University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria;
2 Department of Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital Schwabing, Munich, Germany
Within children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes insulin pump treatment is of increasing interest. Frequency of insulin pump therapy shows a rapid and steep increase in toddlers and young children. Insulin pumps allow a close to physiologic insulin delivery due to basal rates programmed over 24 hours with circadian rhythms taken into account. Furthermore, another advantage of technical devices as insulin pumps is the application of extremely small amounts of insulin, as needed in very young children, with the possibility of titration of infusion rates down to 0.01E/h. Dawn Phenomenon and hypoglycemic events are main indications for insulin pump treatment in children and adolescents. A significant reduction of severe hypoglycemia, especially nocturnal hypoglycemia was shown, whereas a reduction of HbA1c and an improvement of metabolic control has been reported in short term and in some but not all long term studies. Ketoacidosis rate did not increase in insulin pump therapy. Complications due to continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion, like local infections and dermatological changes are frequent but were not associated with glycemic control and did not lead to discontinuation of insulin pump treatment. Pump discontinuation rate in general is low, varying from 1% in very young children up to 6% in pubertal adolescent girls. Insulin pump treatment was shown to be safe and efficient and the simplicity of handling the devices as well as an improvement of quality of life may explain the rapid increase of pump treatment in young children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes.