Seven volunteers aged 12.0 to 17.9 years participated in a trial to compare conventional insulin treatment with continuous open loop (pump) insulin infusion. After 6 weeks of conventional treatment followed by 6 weeks of insulin pump treatment, 4 children chose to manage their diabetes permanently by means of the insulin pump. The mean blood glucose concentration (based on home blood glucose monitoring) while on conventional insulin treatment showed no appreciable change during the 6 weeks' treatment on an insulin pump. Compared with conventional treatment, however, the mean 24 hour blood glucose profiles of the patients on pump insulin showed less variation in the blood glucose throughout the day, together with an appreciably lower peak after breakfast. These improvements occurred despite increased dietary flexibility while on pump insulin. The insulin pump seems to be an acceptable form of treatment for some children and young adults with diabetes mellitus and gives near physiological control of blood glucose.
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