We examined the reliability of split test strips for blood glucose self-monitoring. One hundred visual readings were performed with each of the following test strips: original Haemoglukotest 20–800 (HGT 1/1; Boehringer-Mannheim, Mannheim, FRG) and Haemoglukotest 20–800 halved either by a splitting device (HGT 1/2 SP) or by a pair of scissors (HGT 1/2 SC). Within the plasma glucose range of 20–360 mg/dl, there was a close correlation between the results of all three test-strip readings and the values obtained by the reference method (Beckman glucose analyzer): HGT 1/1, r = .950; HGT 1/2 SP, r = .966; and HGT 1/2 SC, r = .966. Absolute deviations from the reference values were 17 ± 2, 17 ± 1, and 17 ± 1 mg/dl (mean ± SE). Analysis of variance did not reveal any significant differences between the values of each of the three procedures compared with the reference method (P = .98). These results indicate that visual reading of split test strips is as reliable as the reading of original test strips. A special splitting device is not necessary. Diabetic patients should be advised to use split test strips for blood glucose self-monitoring to reduce costs.

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