Beyond the morphology of the glucose curve following an oral glucose tolerance test in obese youth

Giuseppe Nolfe, Maria Rita Spreghini, Rita Wietrzycowska Sforza, Giuseppe Morino, Melania Manco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: To describe the morphology of glucose curve during the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) and any association with glucose tolerance, insulin action and secretion in obese youth. Study design: Cross-sectional. Methods: OGTT data of 553 patients were analysed. Subjects were divided in groups based on the morphology (i.e. monophasic, biphasic, triphasic and upward monotonous) of glucose curve. Insulin action was estimated by the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance, the insulin sensitivity, the muscle insulin sensitivity and the hepatic insulin resistance indexes (HIRI), and the oral glucose insulin sensitivity (OGIS). Insulin secretion was estimated by the insulinogenic index (IGI). Disposition index, including the insulin secretion-sensitivity index-2, and areas under glucose (AUC G) and insulin (AUC I) curves were computed. Results: In patients with normal glucose tolerance (n = 522), prevalent morphology of the glucose curve was monophasic (n = 285, 54%). Monophasic morphology was associated with the highest concentration of 1 h plasma glucose (P <0.0001) and AUC G (P <0.0001); biphasic morphology with better insulin sensitivity as estimated by OGIS (P <0.03) and lower AUC I (P <0.0001); triphasic morphology with the highest values of HIRI (P <0.02) and IGI (P <0.007). By combining morphologies of glucose and insulin curves or time of the glucose peak, a deeper characterisation of different phenotypes of glucose metabolism emerged. Conclusions: Morphologies of the glucose curve seem reflecting different metabolic phenotypes of insulin action and secretion, particularly when combined with morphologies of insulin curve or time of glucose peak. Such findings may deserve validation in cohort study, in which glucose metabolism would be estimated by using gold standard techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-114
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Endocrinology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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