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Diabetes Metab. 2007 Nov;33(5):360-5. Epub 2007 Jul 24.

Nocturnal hypoglycaemias in type 1 diabetic patients: what can we learn with continuous glucose monitoring?

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Service of Endocrinology, Diabetology and Metabolism,Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, 1011, Lausanne, Switzerland.



In type 1 diabetic patients (T1DM), nocturnal hypoglycaemias (NH) are a serious complication of T1DM treatment; self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) is recommended to detect them. However, the majority of NH remains undetected on an occasional SMBG done during the night. An alternative strategy is the Continuous glucose monitoring (CGMS), which retrospectively shows the glycaemic profile. The aims of this retrospective study were to evaluate the true incidence of NH in T1DM, the best SMBG time to predict NH, the relationship between morning hyperglycaemia and NH (Somogyi phenomenon) and the utility of CGMS to reduce NH.


Eighty-eight T1DM who underwent a CGMS exam were included. Indications for CGMS evaluation, hypoglycaemias and correlation with morning hyperglycaemias were recorded. The efficiency of CGMS to reduce the suspected NH was evaluated after 6-9 months.


The prevalence of NH was 67% (32% of them unsuspected). A measured hypoglycaemia at bedtime (22-24 h) had a sensitivity of 37% to detect NH (OR=2.37, P=0.001), while a single measure < or =4 mmol/l at 3-hour had a sensitivity of 43% (OR=4.60, P<0.001). NH were not associated with morning hyperglycaemias but with morning hypoglycaemias (OR=3.95, P<0.001). After 6-9 months, suspicions of NH decreased from 60 to 14% (P<0.001).


NH were highly prevalent and often undetected. SMBG at bedtime, which detected hypoglycaemia had sensitivity almost equal to that of 3-hour and should be preferred because it is easier to perform. Somogyi phenomenon was not observed. CGMS is useful to reduce the risk of NH in 75% of patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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