Empagliflozin Normalizes Fasting Hyperglycemia and Improves Postprandial Glucose Tolerance in Totally Pancreatectomized Patients: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Crossover Study
OBJECTIVE Insulin remains the only glucose-lowering treatment modality recommended for totally pancreatectomized patients. We investigated the effects of the sodium-glucose transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor empagliflozin on fasting and postprandial glucose concentrations in pancreatectomized patients and matched healthy control participants.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study, 10 pancreatectomized patients and 10 matched control participants underwent two 3-hour liquid mixed meal tests preceded by two doses of 25 mg empagliflozin (administered the night before and in the morning of the meal test) or placebo, respectively. Basal insulin was administered as usual, but bolus insulin was omitted before the meal test during experimental days.
RESULTS Compared to placebo, empagliflozin lowered fasting plasma glucose (5.0 ± 0.4 vs. 7.9 ± 0.9 mmol/L [mean ± standard error of the mean], P = 0.007) and postprandial plasma glucose excursions as assessed by baseline-subtracted area under the curve (1,080 (733; 1,231) vs. 1,169 (1,036; 1,417) pmol/L × min [median (25th and 75th percentiles)], P = 0.014) in the pancreatectomized patients. In the control participants, empagliflozin lowered fasting plasma glucose compared to placebo (5.1 ± 0.1 vs. 5.5 ± 0.1 mmol/L, P = 0.008) without affecting postprandial glucose excursions significantly. The pancreatomy group exhibited greater postprandial glucagon excursions compared to the control group on both experimental days (P ≤ 0.015); no within-group differences between days were observed.
CONCLUSIONS Empagliflozin administered the day before and immediately before a standardized liquid mixed meal test, normalized fasting hyperglycemia and improved postprandial glucose tolerance in pancreatectomized patients.