Benefits of monitoring blood glucose by collection of blood on filter paper strips

T. Birdsall, J. M. Roland, J. F. Doran, K. T. Palmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. The accuracy of blood glucose meters has been questioned and the quality control remains rudimentary. Collection of blood spots on filter paper strips allows laboratory estimations whilst maintaining the convenience of blood collection in the patient's own home. Method. Patients provide blood spots on specially prepared filter paper strips and post them to the laboratory for analysis. Results. In 12 months, eight of 19 pregnant diabetic patients had their meter changed because of inconsistency between meter readings and filter paper results. In six consecutive cases of discrepancy between HbA1c and home monitoring, filter paper glucose all proved higher than home monitoring results. This led to a change of meter in three cases, and of insulin regime in all cases, resulting in a mean absolute reduction in HbA1c of 1.92% (SD 0.9, p <0.01). Over the past two years, nine patients without diabetes have been investigated for hypoglycaemia by self-collection of blood spots when symptomatic. In eight cases hypoglycaemia was excluded, but was confirmed in the remaining case, and an insulinoma was subsequently diagnosed and excised. Conclusion. Monitoring of blood glucose levels using filter strips proved a useful tool in pregnancy management, in evaluating discrepancies between HbA1c and home monitoring results, and investigating unexpected hypoglycaemia in non-diabetic patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-113
Number of pages3
JournalPractical Diabetes International
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Home blood glucose monitoring
  • Hypoglycaemia
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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