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J Clin Invest. 1988 Jul;82(1):21-5.

Relationship between plasma glucose and insulin concentration, glucose production, and glucose disposal in normal subjects and patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes.

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Department of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, California 94305.


The changes in hepatic glucose production (Ra), tissue glucose disposal (Rd), and plasma glucose and insulin concentration that took place over a 16-h period from 10 to 2 p.m. were documented in 14 individuals; 8 with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) and 6 with normal glucose tolerance. Values for Ra were higher than normal in patients with NIDDM at 10 p.m. (4.73 +/- 0.41 vs. 3.51 +/- 0.36 mg/kg per min, P less than 0.001), but fell at a much faster rate throughout the night than that seen in normal subjects. As a consequence, the difference between Ra in normal individuals and patients with NIDDM progressively narrowed, and by 2 p.m., had ceased to exist (1.75 +/- 0.61 vs. 1.67 +/- 0.47 mg/kg per min, P = NS). Plasma glucose concentration also declined in patients with NIDDM over the same period of time, but they remained quite hyperglycemic, and the value of 245 +/- 27 mg/dl at 2 p.m. was about three times greater than in normal individuals. Plasma insulin concentrations also fell progressively from 10 to 2 p.m., and were similar in both groups throughout most of the 16-h study period. Thus, the progressive decline in Ra in patients with NIDDM occurred despite concomitant falls in both plasma glucose and insulin concentration. Glucose disposal rates also fell progressively in both groups, but the magnitude of the fall was greater in patients with NIDDM. Consequently, Rd in patients with NIDDM was higher at 10 p.m. (3.97 +/- 0.48 vs. 3.25 +/- 0.13 mg/kg per min, P less than 0.001) and lower the following day at 2 p.m. (1.64 +/- 0.21 vs. 1.97 +/- 0.35 mg/kg per min, P less than 0.01). These results indicate that a greatly expanded pool size can exist in patients with NIDDM at a time when values for Ra are identical to those in normal subjects studied under comparable conditions, which suggests that fasting hyperglycemia in NIDDM is not simply a function of an increase in Ra.

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