A Comparative Study of Blood Glucose Measurements Using Glucometer Readings and the Standard Method in the Diagnosis of Neonatal Hypoglycemia

Document Type: Original Article


1 Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Birjand Atherosclerosis and Coronary Artery Research Center, Birjand University of Medical Sciences, Birjand, Iran


Background: Hypoglycemia is one of the most common neonatal disorders, associated with severe complications. There has been a great deal of controversy regarding the definition and screening of hypoglycemia. Therefore, in this study, we aimed to determine a cut-off value for blood glucose level in glucometer readings.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted on 238 newborns at risk of hypoglycemia, admitted to Baqiyatallah Hospital of Tehran, Iran in 2012; the subjects were selected via simple sampling. After obtaining informed consents from the newborns’ parents, 1 cc blood samples were sent to the laboratory for measuring the blood glucose level. Moreover, venous blood samples, as well as heel-stick blood samples, were obtained for glucometer measurements. Blood glucose measurements were used to determine the cut-off value by the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve and make comparisons with the diagnostic criteria for hypoglycemia in the literature.
Results: A total of 238 infants with the mean weight of 2869±821.9 g were enrolled in this study. The mean (±SD) blood glucose levels were 65.1±22.9, 82.9±24.7, and 84.4±24.8 mg/dl, based on the standard laboratory method, glucometer reading of venous blood samples, and glucometer reading of heel-stick capillary blood samples, respectively. The optimal cut-off point for hypoglycemia was determined as 65 mg/dl, using glucometer-based assessment of heel-stick blood samples.
Conclusion: The significant difference in blood glucose levels measured by the laboratory method and outpatient glucometer readings highlights the importance of a cut-off value for rapid assessment and control of blood glucose and timely detection of hypoglycemia. In fact, the cut-off value introduced in the present study could facilitate such measurements.


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