We studied the reliability of the Chemstrip system in the self-monitoring of blood glucose by diabetic patients. A total of 453 blood glucose values obtained by 38 diabetic patients using Chemstrip were compared with the glucose values of the same blood samples measured with a conventional laboratory method. We found a definite tendency at concentrations <320 mg/dl for patient-read Chemstrip values to be too low. Also, we found a wide range in laboratory values corresponding to a given patient-read Chemstrip value. However, a better agreement between Chemstrip and laboratory values was obtained when the Chemstrips were read by trained staff. We recommend, therefore, that the use of Chemstrip in the self-monitoring of blood glucose can be restricted to patients who have shown competence in the use of Chemstrip during prior testing.

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