Home blood sampling for plasma glucose assay in control of diabetes.
Howe-Davies S., Holman RR., Phillips M., Turner RC.
Estimation of plasma glucose in home blood samples is needed to improve diabetic control. Sufficiently precise measurements on capillary blood were obtained by (a) storing Reflotest glucose-oxidase strips in a desiccant container before reading and (b) collecting blood samples into a simple vacuum bottle containing potassium fluoride (assay of sodium content indicating volume of plasma collected). The precision of the methods (+/- 1 SD) was +/-0.35 mmol/1 (+/-6.3 mg/100 ml). Clinical reliability was assessed by measuring the basal plasma glucose concentration at home on different mornings in patients with maturity-onset diabetes, the day-to-day variation (+/- 1 SD) being +/-0.73 and +/-0.92 mmol/1 (+/-13.2 and +/-16.6 mg/100 ml) respectively. The mean basal plasma glucose concentration in all 84 patients with maturity-onset diabetes from three general practices was 8 mmol/1 (144 mg/100 ml), 44 of the values exceeding 6 mmol/1 (108 mg/100 ml). Improving control by monitoring the basal plasma glucose concentration in maturity-onset diabetes might help to prevent diabetic complications.