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Importance of beta cell mass for glycaemic control in people with type 1 diabetes – published online 17/11/2022

Jansen graphical abstract

T. J. P. Jansen, M. Brom, M. Boss, M. Buitinga, C. J. Tack, L. A. van Meijel, B. E. de Galan, M. Gotthardt

The importance of residual beta cells for glucose control in people with type 1 diabetes is not yet fully understood and measurement of human beta cell mass is challenging. In this issue, Jansen et al ( report the novel use of an imaging method, exendin PET, to measure beta cell mass in a non-invasive manner. The authors demonstrate that beta cell mass was markedly increased in people with type 1 diabetes and relatively stable glycaemic control than in people with type 1 diabetes and high glucose variability. They suggest that residual beta cells may therefore play an important role in glycaemic stability in people with type 1 diabetes. The authors highlight that their finding indicates the need for effective therapies aimed at preserving viable beta cells and therapies that can restore or improve beta cell functionality. They conclude that exendin PET may have a role to play in the detection of these residual beta cells and could aid in the selection of the most suitable treatments.

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