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This article is the author’s final published version in BMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care, Volume 7, Issue 1, December 2019, Article number e000881.

The published version is available at Copyright © Eisler et al.


Objective: This study investigated the effects of the inflammatory tissue response (ITR) to an insulin infusion set (IIS) on insulin bolus spread over wear time, as well as the effect of cannula insertion angle on the ITR, bolus shape, and pump tubing pressure.

Research design and methods: Angled or straight IISs were inserted every other day for 14 days into the subcutaneous tissue of 11 swine and insulin was delivered continuously. Prior to euthanasia, a 70 µL bolus of insulin/X-ray contrast agent was infused while recording a pressure profile (peak tubing pressure, pmax; area under the pressure curve, AUC), followed by the excision of the tissue-catheter specimen. Bolus surface area (SA) and volume (V) were assessed via micro-CT. Tissue was stained to analyze total area of inflammation (TAI) and inflammatory layer thickness (ILT) surrounding the cannula.

Results: A bolus delivered through an angled IIS had a larger mean SA than a bolus delivered through a straight cannula (314.0±84.2 mm2 vs 229.0±99.7 mm2, p<0.001) and a larger volume (198.7±66.9 mm3 vs 145.0±65.9 mm3, p=0.001). Both decreased significantly over wear time, independent of angle. There was a significant difference in TAI (angled, 9.1±4.0 mm2 vs straight, 14.3±8.6 mm2, p<0.001) and ILT (angled, 0.7±0.4 vs straight, 1.2±0.7 mm, p<0.001). pmax (p=0.005) and AUC (p=0.014) were lower using angled IIS. As ILT increased, pmax increased, while SA and V decreased.

Conclusions: The progression of the ITR directly affected bolus shape and tubing pressure. Although straight insertion is clinically preferred, our data suggest that an angled IIS elicits lower grades of ITR and delivers a bolus with lower tubing pressure and greater SA and V. The subcutaneous environment plays a crucial role in IIS longevity, and the insertion angle needs to be considered in future IIS designs and clinical trials.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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