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Subspecialties Hematology, Biochemistry and molecular biology, Endocrinology

Bridging the Gap in Glucose Monitoring

At a Glance

  • Glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) testing, the standard method of long-term glucose monitoring, can be inaccurate in patients with abnormal red blood cell turnover
  • Glycated serum protein (GSP) levels are similarly reflective of average blood glucose levels and could provide a suitable additional measure
  • GSP testing is an intermediate marker of glycemia, providing measurements for a two- to three-week period that bridges the information gap between short- and long-term monitoring
  • Combining HbA1c and GSP testing offers improved diagnostic accuracy and reliability in the prediction of diabetic complications, especially in patients with conditions that affect red blood cell lifespan

Since blood glucose monitoring began in the 1960s, it’s been a key parameter for the control of acute diabetes. It has made daily glucose monitoring by patients possible, and, for longer-term control, glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) assays have traditionally been the primary test used in clinical practice, offering average measurements over a two- to three-month period. But there is a gap which is, as yet, largely unplugged – the gap between short- and long-term testing. Given the exceptionally high prevalence of diabetes, and a projection that the disease will be the seventh leading cause of death worldwide by 2030 (1), it’s clear that meticulous blood glucose tracking and management – short-, medium-, and long-term – is of great, and growing, importance. Until recently, there was no reliable marker for medium-term monitoring. But now, a new marker, glycated serum protein (GSP), could be the answer. It could also provide a suitable alternative to HbA1c in patients with abnormal red blood cell turnover.

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About the Author

Timothy Warlow Jr.

Timothy Warlow Jr. is the central laboratory global product manager at Stanbio Laboratory, EKF Diagnostics (Boerne, TX, USA).

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