Background: Continuous glucose monitoring systems are increasingly being adopted as an alternative to self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) by persons with diabetes mellitus receiving insulin therapy. Main body: The FreeStyle Libre flash glucose monitoring system (Abbott Diabetes Care, Witney, United Kingdom) consists of a factory-calibrated sensor worn on the back of the arm which measures glucose levels in the interstitial fluid every minute and stores the reading automatically every 15 min. Swiping the reader device over the sensor retrieves stored data and displays current interstitial glucose levels, a glucose trend arrow, and a graph of glucose readings over the preceding 8 h. In patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) receiving insulin therapy, pivotal efficacy data were provided by the 6-month REPLACE randomized controlled trial (RCT) and 6-month extension study. Compared to SMBG, the flash system significantly reduced the time spent in hypoglycemia and frequency of hypoglycemic events, although no significant change was observed in glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels. Subsequent RCTs and real-world chart review studies have since shown that flash glucose monitoring significantly reduces HbA1c from baseline. Real-world studies in both type 1 diabetes or T2D populations also showed that flash glucose monitoring improved glycemic control. Higher (versus lower) scanning frequency was associated with significantly greater reductions in HbA1c and significant improvements in other measures such as time spent in hypoglycemia, time spent in hyperglycemia, and time in range. Additional benefits associated with flash glucose monitoring versus SMBG include reductions in acute diabetes events, all-cause hospitalizations and hospitalized ketoacidosis episodes; improved well-being and decreased disease burden; and greater treatment satisfaction. Conclusion: T2D patients who use flash glucose monitoring might expect to achieve significant improvement in HbA1c and glycemic parameters and several associated benefits.
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