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Metabolism. 2000 Nov;49(11):1491-5.

Effects of pulsatile intravenous insulin therapy on the progression of diabetic nephropathy.

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Scripps Clinic, San Diego, CA 92037, USA.


The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of pulsatile intravenous insulin therapy (PIVIT) on the progression of diabetic nephropathy in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM). This 18-month multicenter, prospective, controlled study involved 49 type 1 DM patients with nephropathy who were following the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) intensive therapy (IT) regimen. Of these, 26 patients formed the control group (C), which continued on IT, while 23 patients formed the treatment group (T) and underwent, in addition to IT, weekly PIVIT. Blood pressure in all patients was maintained below 140/90 mm Hg on antihypertensive medication, preferentially using angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. All study patients were seen in the clinic weekly for 18 months, had monthly glycohemoglobin (HbA1c), and every 3 months, 24-hour urinary protein excretion and creatinine clearance (CrCl) determinations. The HbA1c levels declined from 8.61% +/- 0.33% to 7.68% +/- 0.31% (P = .0028) in the T group and from 9.13% +/- 0.36% to 8.19% +/- 0.33% (P = .0015) in the C group during the study period. CrCl declined significantly in both groups, as expected, but the rate of CrCl decline in the T group (2.21 +/- 1.62 mL/min/yr) was significantly less than in the C group (7.69 +/- 1.88 mL/min/yr, P = .0343). We conclude that when PIVIT is added to IT in type 1 DM patients with overt nephropathy, it appears to markedly reduce the progression of diabetic nephropathy. The effect appears independent of ACE inhibitor therapy, blood pressure, or glycemic control.

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