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A team of French researchers report the success of an experimental study involving the implantation of a programmable insulin pump in 214 patients with insulin-dependent diabetes. The pumps used in the study were the MiniMed MIP 2001, the Infusaid M1000, and the Promedos 3. The pumps were implanted into the abdominal wall, with catheters inserted into the peritoneum (the membrane sac lining the abdominal cavity).
Improvement in glycemic control was assessed by measuring changes in Hemoglobin A1c and mean blood glucose levels over a period of 24 months. During this time, HbA1 levels dropped from 7.35 to 7.04, while mean blood glucose levels were reduced from 159 to 136.
Overall, 19 of the 214 pumps had to be removed for a variety of causes; from technical failure to "psychological reasons." In addition, 35 catheters had to be replaced. During the 24 months, there were six cases of ketoacidosis and seven cases of severe hypoglycemia. The frequency of mild hypoglycemia remained unchanged. Again, while the results look promising, follow-up studies are necessary in order to assess the longterm viability of the implantable pump.
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