Insulin pump therapy started at the time of diagnosis: Effects on glycemic control and pancreatic β-cell function in type 1 diabetes

Kathryn M. Thrailkill, Cynthia S. Moreau, Christopher Swearingen, Mallik Rettiganti, Kathy Edwards, Alba E. Morales, Stephen F. Kemp, J. Paul Frindik, John L. Fowlkes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Background: In the interest of preserving residual insulin secretory capacity present at the time of diagnosis with type 1 diabetes (T1D), we compared the efficacy of starting insulin pump therapy at diagnosis with standard multiple daily insulin injections (MDIs). Methods: We conducted a prospective, randomized, pilot trial comparing MDI therapy with continuous subcutaneous insulin therapy (pump therapy) in 24 patients, 8-18 years old, with newly diagnosed T1D. Subjects were evaluated at enrollment and 1, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months after initial diagnosis of T1D. Preservation of insulin secretion, measured by mixed-meal-stimulated C-peptide secretion, was compared after 6 and 12 months of treatment. Between-group differences in glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c), continuous glucose sensor data, insulin utilization, anthropometric measures, and patient satisfaction with therapy were also compared at multiple time points. Results: Initiation of pump therapy within 1 month of diagnosis resulted in consistently higher mixed-meal tolerance test-stimulated C-peptide values at all time points, although these differences were not statistically significant. Nonetheless, improved glycemic control was observed in insulin pump-treated subjects (more time spent with normoglycemia, better mean HbA1c), and pump-treated subjects reported comparatively greater satisfaction with route of treatment administration. Conclusions: Initiation of insulin pump therapy at diagnosis improved glycemic control, was well tolerated, and contributed to improved patient satisfaction with treatment. This study also suggests that earlier use of pump therapy might help to preserve residual β-cell function, although a larger clinical trial would be required to confirm this.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1023-1030
Number of pages8
JournalDiabetes Technology and Therapeutics
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Medical Laboratory Technology


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