Artificial pancreas

Both types of artificial pancreas systems improve blood glucose control in people with type 1 diabetes when compared to insulin pump therapy, a new study finds.

The research, conducted at the University of Toronto, identified the benefits of both single-hormone artificial and dual-hormone artificial pancreas systems. Single-hormone artificial pancreas systems only provide insulin, whereas dual-hormone artificial pancreas systems provide both insulin and glucagon.

The researchers analysed the data of 28 participants with type 1 diabetes – seven adolescents and 21 adults. The participants were assigned to one of three groups: the first group received dual-hormone artificial pancreas therapy; the second received single-hormone artificial pancreas therapy; the third received insulin pump therapy. Blood glucose control was measured while the participants slept, over two evenings. On the first night, the participants exercise before going to sleep; on the second, they exercised after a high-carb, high-fat meal.

The group given insulin pump therapy spent 47 per cent of their time within target blood glucose range. In the single-hormone artificial pancreas groups, participants were within target blood glucose range 76 per cent of the time. In the dual-hormone artificial pancreas group, this figure was 81 per cent.

In the insulin pump therapy group there were 14 hypoglycemic events, six in the single-hormone artificial pancreas group, and three in the dual-hormone artificial pancreas group.

“In this head-to-head at-home comparison of the efficacy of single- and dual-hormone artificial pancreas configurations on overnight glycemic controls in patients with type 1 diabetes, both configurations improved the amount of time spent in target glycemic range and improved other measures of hyper- and hypoglycemic exposure when compared to conventional insulin pump therapy in the setting of stimuli designed to increase overnight glycemic excursions,” the researchers wrote.

The study did not find a significant difference in glycemic control benefits between single-hormone and dual-hormone artificial pancreas configurations.

The findings are published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.