Continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion versus multiple daily injections

Hippokratia 2009, 13(2):93-96

P Karagianni, Ch Sampanis, C Katsoulis, Gr Miserlis, S Polyzos, I Zografou, S Stergiopoulos, I Douloumbakas, Ch Zamboulis


Background and aim: Continuous Subcutaneous Insulin Infusion (CSII) and Multiple Daily insulin Injections (MDI) are both strategies aiming to achieve a tight glycemic and metabolic control. However, the choice between them remains controversial. The aim of the present study was to compare the efficacy of MDI (three or more injections daily) with CSII on glycemic control in patients with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus and assess satisfaction from treatment in the CSII group.
Material and Methods: Seventeen patients with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus on CSII (previously on MDI) and 17 patients on MDI, matched for age, gender, BMI and duration of diabetes, were retrospectively studied. Glucosylated Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), frequency of hypoglycaemias (assessed as self reported episodes), BMI and total units of insulin per day were evaluated at baseline and after 6 months in both groups. CSII group completed a questionnaire concerning motive for treatment selection, advantages, deficiencies and inconvenience at the end of the study. Satisfaction from treatment was assessed with a scale from 0 to10.
Results: CSII group had more hypoglycaemic episodes at baseline than MDI group (16.2±2.8 vs 2.8±1.3, p < 0,001). HbA1c (8.4±0.5 before vs 7.3±0.4 after, p < 0.05) and total hypoglycaemic episodes per month (16.2±2.8 before vs 8.7±2.3 after, p < 0.05) significantly decreased in CSII group 6 months after baseline. On the contrary, total hypoglycaemic episodes per month were increased in MDI group (2.8±1.3 before vs 10.8 ±2, 6 after, p < 0.05) in order to maintain HbA1c levels. No significant differences were observed in BMI in both groups. Total insulin demands were reduced in the CSII group (49.4±3.3 before vs 39.0±4.6 after, p < 0.05) and remained unchanged in MDI group. None of the patients discontinued CSII therapy, while overall satisfaction rate in this group was high. The main motive for CSII selection was frequent hypoglycaemic episodes and glucose fluctuations (10/17). The majority of patients expressed their wish for incorporating glucose trend indicator and/or continuous glucose measurement into pump and reducing pump size (15/17). Most commonly stated advantage was improved flexibility, followed by greater freedom and decreased sense of physical restrictions (10/17). Inconvenience mainly derived from alarm malfunction and catheter or needle occlusion and was reported from a minority of patients (4/17).
Conclusion: CSII group reported more hypoglycaemias than MDI group at baseline but 6 months later had significantly less hypoglycaemic events, while on the contrary, MDI group 6 months after baseline had more frequent and more severe hypoglycaemias. Although baseline hypoglycaemias are not equal between the two groups, we can assume that CSII group achieved less hypoglycaemic events along with significant reduction in HbA1c while utilising less insulin units