To examine the serum levels of methylguanidine in IDDM children and compare them with markers for glycemic control. Reports have indicated that active oxygen, which damages various tissues, increases in diabetes mellitus. The increase of active oxygen is one of the risk factors for diabetic complications. The synthesis of methylguanidine, a metabolic product of guanidine, is mainly regulated by active oxygen.


Forty-eight children with IDDM (mean age 13.3 yr) and 17 age-matched nondiabetic control subjects were studied. Diabetic children were divided into a well-controlled group (HbA1c < 8%, n = 24) and a poorly controlled group (HbA1c > 8%, n = 24). Serum concentrations of methylguanidine were measured by enzymatic assay.


Levels of methylguanidine in the poorly controlled group (1.31 ± 0.08 μM) were significantly higher than those in both the well-controlled group (0.85 ± 0.08 μM) and the control group (0.59 ± 0.11 μM), respectively (P < 0.01). Methylguanidine levels showed a positive correlation with the levels of HbA1c (P < 0.01) or fructosamine (P < 0.01). No significant correlations were noted between methylguanidine levels and age, sex, duration of diabetes, or insulin dose.


Our data indicate that the levels of methylguanidine in IDDM children might be affected by glycemic control and that the determination of serum methylguanidine levels could be a useful test for evaluating the state of diabetic control.

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