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Crit Rev Clin Lab Sci. 1984;19(4):297-352.

C-peptide measurement: methods and clinical utility.


Proinsulin is the single chain precursor of insulin. It consists of insulin, plus a peptide which connects the A and B chains of insulin. This peptide is termed C-peptide. C-peptide an insulin are secreted in equimolar amounts from pancreatic beta-cells, Hence, circulating C-peptide levels provide a measure of beta-cell secretory activity. C-peptide measurements are preferable to insulin measurements because of lack of hepatic extraction, slower metabolic clearance rate, and lack of cross reactivity with antibodies to insulin. This article reviews the methods for determination of C-peptide levels in body fluids, and discusses the applications of C-peptide measurement. These include the investigation of hypoglycemia and the assessment of insulin secretory function in insulin-treated and non-insulin-dependent diabetics. The contribution of C-peptide measurement to the understanding of the interrelationships between insulin secretory function and age, sex, obesity, blood lipids, and blood glucose concentrations will also be evaluated.

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