This study compares the utility of nonenzymatically glycosylated serum proteins (lys-GSP) to glycosylated hemoglobins (HbAla−c) as control indices of glucose homeostasis in patients with IDDM. The diagnostic value of lys-GSP was also examined in patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, in subjects with impaired glucose tolerance, and in two patients with insulinoma. The intraindividual fluctuation of lys-GSP in normoglycemic subjects is very small, resulting in an interindividual range of 3.0 ± 0.3 lysine-bound glucose/mg protein (x¯ ± SD, N = 52). HbA1a−c with a normal range of 6.4 ± 0.9% (N = 52) shows greater variability. In IDDM there is no overlap of lys-GSP levels between the normal and the diabetic range at the 95% confidence level. In patients treated with an open-loop insulin delivery system failure of normalization of the glucose balance was clearly discernible by an elevation of GSP. In contrast, in about 40% of the patients with incomplete glycemic control the HbA1a−c levels fell within the normal range. The utility of lys-GSP for diagnosis of diabetes is compared with the results of 60 oral glucose tolerance tests. Two patients suffering from insulinoma displayed decreased lys-GSP values. From these results it appears that determination of lys-GSP represents a more sensitive parameter for long-term control than HbA1a−c and is suitable for monitoring even small fluctuations of blood glucose.

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