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Low subcutaneous degradation and slow absorption of insulin in insulin-dependent diabetic patients during continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion at basal rate


As information on the absorption kinetics and local degradation of infused insulin is relevant to programming strategies for continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion, we examined the time relationship of systemic insulin appearance and quantitated subcutaneous degradation during a near-basal rate of continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion in five insulin-dependent diabetic patients. Plasma free insulin was monitored for 8 h during and 3 h after a subcutaneous (abdominal wall) infusion of neutral insulin at 2.4 U/h. An identical intravenous infusion (2-4 h) was given on a separate occasion. Plateau levels of free insulin were not significantly different during the subcutaneous (37 +/- 8 mU/l) and intravenous (40 +/- 7 mU/l) infusions. Fitting of the free insulin data to our two-pool model of the subcutaneous space gave a mean estimate of 9.2 units insulin (= 3.8 h infusion) for the subcutaneous depot after 8 h. Model estimates of systemic insulin appearance, as a percentage of subcutaneous infusion rate, were 59% and 93% after 4 and 8 h respectively, and 76% 2 h after cessation of infusion. In insulin-dependent diabetic patients subcutaneous degradation of infused insulin is negligible but local accumulation in the subcutaneous space is considerable. The delay in absorption has important clinical implications for interruption and resumption of continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion and also for programming of variable basal rates.

Type Journal
ISBN 0012-186X (Print)
Authors Chisholm, D. J.;Kraegen, E. W.;Hewett, M. J.;Furler, S. :
Garvan Authors Prof Ted Kraegen
Published Date 1984-01-01 00:00:00
Published Volume 27
Published Issue 2
Published Pages 238-41
Status Published In-print