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Information and guidance for public, NHSGGC staff, and community-based services.  Hospital visiting restrictions now in place.

Insulin

Insulin, produced by pancreatic beta cells, regulates glucose uptake and utilization and is involved in protein synthesis and triglyceride storage. It is often measured alongside C-peptide.

Clinical uses of insulin measurements:

1. Evaluation of possible insulinoma: In cases of hypoglycaemia, diagnosis of insulinoma relies on proving inappropriate secretion of insulin during a hypoglycaemic episode.

2. Hypoglycaemia of infancy due to hyperinsulinaemia.

3. Diagnosis of factitious hypoglycaemia together with measurement of C-peptide.

4. Discrimination of type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus: Insulin and C-peptide concentrations are generally low in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus, and either normal or elevated in early type 2 diabetes, and decreased in later stages.

Sample Requirements and Reference Ranges

Sample type  Plasma
Container  Lithium heparin
Precautions  Collect after overnight fast or during symptomatic hypoglycaemia,  together with glucose sample. Separate and freeze plasma. Transport  frozen. Haemolysed specimens unsuitable. For hypoglycaemic screen,  only measure when hypoglycaemic (glucose <2.6 mmol/L). 
Minimum volume  2 mL
Reference range

 Fasting Insulin: Not applicable

Turnaround time  7 days
Method  Abbott Architect
 
Quality Assurance
UK NEQAS
Last Updated: 13 October 2020