BMJ Open 2012 28;2(6). Epub 2012 Dec 28.
NIHR Exeter Clinical Research Facility, University of Exeter Medical School, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK.
Introduction: Management of a patient's diabetes is entirely dependent upon the type of diabetes they are deemed to have. Patients with Type 1 diabetes are insulin deficient so require multiple daily insulin injections, whereas patients with Type 2 diabetes still have some endogenous insulin production so insulin treatment is only required when diet and tablets do not establish good glycaemic control. Despite the importance of a correct diagnosis, classification of diabetes is based on aetiology and relies on clinical judgement. There are no clinical guidelines on how to determine whether a patient has Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. We aim to systematically review the literature to derive evidence-based clinical criteria for the classification of the major subtypes of diabetes.
Methods And Analysis: We will perform a systematic review of diagnostic accuracy studies to establish clinical criteria that predict the subsequent development of absolute insulin deficiency seen in Type 1 diabetes. Insulin deficiency will be determined by reference standard C-peptide concentrations. Synthesis of criteria identified will be undertaken using hierarchical summary receiver operating characteristic curves.
Ethics And Dissemination: As this is a systematic review, there will be no ethical issues. We will disseminate results by writing up the final systematic review and synthesis for publication in a peer-reviewed journal and will present at national and international diabetes-related meetings.