CHEVY CHASE, Md. — Patients with diabetes may benefit from a system that provides continuous, real-time glucose readings, according to new clinical practice guidelines released by the Endocrine Society.
While most patients with diabetes measure blood glucose by pricking their skin to get a drop of blood and then measuring it with a glucose meter, continuous glucose monitoring measures glucose in the interstitial fluid, the fluid between cells just under the skin.
"There are some caveats to consider before accepting continuous monitoring of glucose as a routine measure to improve glycemic control in diabetes," said David Klonoff, chairman of the task force that drafted the guidelines and a doctor at Mills-Peninsula Health Services in San Mateo, Calif. "There are still concerns about the high costs of CGM and the accuracy of the various systems available."
The new guidelines, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, recommend use of CGM in children and adolescents with Type 1 diabetes because it will help them maintain target blood sugar levels while reducing the risk of low blood sugar, and in adults with Type 1 diabetes who have shown they can use CGM devices on a daily basis. They also recommend refraining from using CGM alone for glucose management in hospital intensive care units and operating rooms.