Journal of the Endocrine Society Journal Article

Carbohydrate Preparation for OGTT

May 03, 2021
 

Klara R Klein, Christopher P Walker, Amber L McFerren, Halie Huffman, Flavio Frohlich, John B Buse
Journal of the Endocrine Society, Volume 5, Issue 5, May 2021, bvab049
https://doi.org/10.1210/jendso/bvab049

Abstract

With the emergence of glycated hemoglobin as a diagnostic test for diabetes, oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTTs) have become rare in endocrinology practice. As they have moved out of favor, the importance of patient instructions on preparation prior to OGTT has faded from memory. Decades-old literature, well-known to endocrinologists a generation ago, emphasized the importance of carbohydrate intake prior to OGTT. In this expert endocrine consult, we discuss an OGTT performed in a research setting without adequate carbohydrate intake at the evening meal prior to the OGTT. The resultant elevated plasma glucose levels at 1-hour and 2-hours mimicked the loss of first-phase insulin release seen in early type 1 and type 2 diabetes. With clinical concern that the research participant had evolving type 1 or type 2 diabetes, the volunteer was subjected to additional testing and experienced anxiety. Repeat OGTT was normal after adequate carbohydrate intake (>150 grams/day and >50 grams the evening prior to overnight fast for the study). The physiology of this phenomenon is explored and is likely mediated through beta cell adaptation and alteration in peripheral glucose uptake in response to nutrient exposure. The learnings of decades ago have clearly faded, and this literature should be revisited to ensure that OGTT results are not compromised when ordered for clinical or research purposes.

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