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Diabetes Metab Res Rev. 2009 Sep;25(6):491-501. doi: 10.1002/dmrr.961.

Circulating insulin antibodies: influence of continuous subcutaneous or intraperitoneal insulin infusion, and impact on glucose control.

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Division of Diabetes, Nutrition and Metabolic Disorders, Department of Medicine, CHU Liège, University of Liège, Liège, Belgium.


The purification of animal insulin preparations and the use of human recombinant insulin have markedly reduced the incidence, but not completely suppressed, the development of anti-insulin antibodies (IAs). Advances in technologies concerning the mode of delivery of insulin, i.e. continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion (CSII), continuous peritoneal insulin infusion (CPII) and more recently inhaled insulin administration, appear to significantly increase circulating levels of immunoglobulin G (IgG) anti-IAs in diabetic patients. However, the increase is usually moderate and mostly transient as compared to previous observations with poorly purified animal insulin preparations. The clinical impact of these circulating anti-IAs remains unclear. Nevertheless, several studies have suggested that antibodies could retard insulin action, leading to a worsening of postprandial hyperglycaemia and/or serve as a carrier, thus leading to unexpected hypoglycaemia. CPII may be associated with more marked and sustained increase in IAs levels, possibly related to the use of an unstable insulin and the formation of immunogenic aggregates of insulin. The possible clinical consequences of these high levels of IAs remain to be evaluated because a low-glucose morning syndrome or severe insulin resistance with ketone bodies production have been reported in some cases. In conclusion, even if CSII and CPII may promote the development of circulating IAs, this increase does not lead to immunological insulin resistance, compared to that previously described with animal non-purified insulin preparations, and seems to have only marginal influence on blood glucose control or complications in most diabetic patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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