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J Feline Med Surg. 2016 Aug;18(8):587-96. doi: 10.1177/1098612X15588967. Epub 2015 Jun 4.

Rebound hyperglycaemia in diabetic cats.

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Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine, University of Luxembourg, Esch-Belval, Luxembourg.
School of Veterinary Science, The University of Queensland, Queensland, Australia



Rebound hyperglycaemia (also termed Somogyi effect) is defined as hyperglycaemia caused by the release of counter-regulatory hormones in response to insulin-induced hypoglycaemia, and is widely believed to be common in diabetic cats. However, studies in human diabetic patients over the past quarter century have rejected the common occurrence of this phenomenon. Therefore, we evaluated the occurrence and prevalence of rebound hyperglycaemia in diabetic cats.


In a retrospective study, 10,767 blood glucose curves of 55 cats treated with glargine using an intensive blood glucose regulation protocol with a median of five blood glucose measurements per day were evaluated for evidence of rebound hyperglycaemic events, defined in two different ways (with and without an insulin resistance component).


While biochemical hypoglycaemia occurred frequently, blood glucose curves consistent with rebound hyperglycaemia with insulin resistance was confined to four single events in four different cats. In 14/55 cats (25%), a median of 1.5% (range 0.32-7.7%) of blood glucose curves were consistent with rebound hyperglycaemia without an insulin resistance component; this represented 0.42% of blood glucose curves in both affected and unaffected cats.


We conclude that despite the frequent occurrence of biochemical hypoglycaemia, rebound hyperglycaemia is rare in cats treated with glargine on a protocol aimed at tight glycaemic control. For glargine-treated cats, insulin dose should not be reduced when there is hyperglycaemia in the absence of biochemical or clinical evidence of hypoglycaemia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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