Effects of plasma glucose concentration on glucose utilization and glucose clearance in normal man

C. A. Verdonk, R. A. Rizza, J. E. Gerich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

122 Scopus citations


Glucose clearance (glucose utilization - plasma glucose) is commonly used to assess glucose utilization under conditions in which plasma glucose concentrations vary. The validity of this practice requires that glucose clearance itself be independent of plasma glucose concentration. The presence studies were, therefore, undertaken to determine the relationship between glucose clearance and plasma glucose concentration in man. Using the glucose clamp technique, rates of glucose utilization (measured isotopically with 3-3H-glucose) and glucose clearance were determined in 5 normal volunteers at steady-state plasma glucose concentrations of approximately 60, 95, 130, and 165 mg/dl, while plasma insulin concentrations were maintained constant (~ 18 μU/ml) by infusion of insulin and somatostatin. Despite virtually identical 0.4 mg.kg-1.min-1 increments in glucose utilization for each 35-mg/dl increment in plasma glucose, glucose clearance decreased as a function of plasma glucose concentration (r = -0.85, P < 0.001). These results indicate that glucose clearance is not independent of changes in plasma glucose concentration and, thus, use of glucose clearance to evaluate glucose utilization at differing plasma glucose concentration is not valid. Whether this conclusion also applies to similar use of clearance for other substrates remains to be determined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)535-537
Number of pages3
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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