Investigators from multiple institutions conducted a crossover randomized trial to compare the effectiveness and safety of a closed-loop system (ie, artificial pancreas) to sensor-augmented insulin pump therapy in young children with type 1 diabetes. Participants were children 1-7 years old with a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes for at least 6 months, recruited from diabetes centers in 4 European countries. The closed-loop system consisted of a continuous glucose sensor and insulin pump connected to a smartphone app. The app included an algorithm that automatically adjusted insulin delivery based on real-time sensor glucose readings. With the sensor-augmented pump, insulin therapy was stopped if an algorithm predicted that sensor glucose levels were likely to drop below a specified threshold. Study children were randomized to receive 16 weeks of treatment with the closed loop system, followed by 16 weeks using the augmented-sensor pump, or vice versa. The primary outcome was percentage of time spent in the target glucose range (70 to 170 mg/dL) during each treatment period. Secondary outcomes included percentage of time spent in a hyperglycemic range (>180 mg/dL) and hypoglycemic range (<70 mg/dL) and mean glucose levels. These outcomes were based on readings from the glucose sensors. Glycated hemoglobin levels were measured at baseline and at the end of each treatment period. Differences in outcomes between the closed-loop and sensor-augmented pump treatment period were assessed with repeated-measures linear regression models. Data on adverse events also were collected.
Data were analyzed on 74 children with a mean age of 5.6 ±1.6 years. The mean glycated hemoglobin level at baseline was 7.3 ±0.7%. The mean time spent in the target glucose range were 71.6 ±5.9% during the closed-loop period and 62.9 ±9.0% in the sensor-augmented pump period (adjusted difference, 8.7 percentage points; 95% CI, 7.4, 9.9; P <0.001). The median time spent at glucose level >180 mg/dL was significantly less during the closed-loop period than during the control period (22.9% vs 31.7%; adjusted difference, -8.5 percentage points; 95% CI, -.9.9, -7.1; P <0.001); mean sensor glucose levels (145 ±11.8 mg/dL and 158.1 ±18.5 mg/dL, respectively; P <0.001) and mean glycated hemoglobin levels (6.6 ±0.6% and 7.0 ±0.7%) were significantly lower during the closed-loop period than during treatment with the segmented-sensor pump. There was no difference between treatment periods for percentage of time with glucose <70 mg/dL (P = 0.74). One participant had a serious adverse event (severe hypoglycemia) during their closed-loop treatment period.
The authors conclude that a closed-loop system improved glycemic control in young children with type 1 diabetes.
Dr Fechner has disclosed no financial relationship relevant to this commentary. This commentary does not contain a discussion of an unapproved/investigative use of a commercial product/device.
Type 1 diabetes is very difficult to manage in the young child....