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Dual-basal-insulin regimen for the management of dawn phenomenon in children with type 1 diabetes: a retrospective cohort study.

BACKGROUND: Handling of the dawn phenomenon (DP) with multiple daily insulin injection (MDII) regimen is a real challenge.

OBJECTIVE: We aimed to demonstrate the effectiveness of a dual-basal-insulin (a long-acting glargine and an intermediate-acting neutral protamine Hagedorn (NPH)) regimen for the management of DP in children with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM). The primary efficacy outcome was to overcome morning hyperglycemia without causing hypoglycemia during the non-DP period of the night.

DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study.

METHOD: Charts of 28 children with T1DM (12 female; 42.8%, mean age 13.7 ± 2.1 years) treated with MDII were retrospectively reviewed. The median duration of diabetes was 4.5 years (range 2-13.5 years). DP was diagnosed using a threshold difference of 20 mg/dL (0.1 mmol/L) between fasting capillary blood glucose at 3 a.m. and prebreakfast. NPH was administered at midnight in addition to daily bedtime (08.00-09.00 p.m.) glargine (dual-basal-insulin regimen). Midnight, 03:00 a.m., prebreakfast and postprandial capillary blood glucose readings, insulin-carbohydrate ratios, and basal-bolus insulin doses were recorded the day before the dual-basal-insulin regimen was started and the day after the titration of the insulin doses was complete. Body mass index standard deviation scores (BMI SDS) at the onset-3rd-12th month of treatment were noted.

RESULTS: Before using dual basal insulin, prebreakfast capillary blood glucose levels were greater than those at midnight and at 03:00 a.m. ( F  = 64.985, p  < 0.01). After titration of the dual-basal-insulin doses, there were significant improvements such that there were no statistically significant differences in the capillary blood glucose measurements at the three crucial time points (midnight, 03.00 a.m., and prebreakfast; F  = 1.827, p  = 0.172). No instances of hypoglycemia were reported, and the total daily insulin per kilogram of body weight did not change. The BMI SDS remained steady over the course of the 1-year follow-up.

CONCLUSION: In this retrospective cohort study, the dual-basal-insulin regimen, using a long-acting glargine and an intermediate-acting NPH, was effective in overcoming early morning hyperglycemia due to insulin resistance in the DP. However, the effectiveness of the dual-basal-insulin regimen needs to be verified by prospective controlled studies using continuous glucose monitoring metrics or frequent blood glucose monitoring.

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