Blood glucose levels: precise, correct, accurate

If you have so far been using a blood glucose monitoring system calibrated for whole blood and are now switching to one calibrated for plasma (e.g. mylife Unio) or vice versa, you may need new target values.

You will have to re-adjust though when interpreting the results: since glucose concentration in plasma is approx. 10-15 per cent higher than in whole blood, the levels indicated by meters with plasma-calibrated test strips are approx. 10-15 per cent higher.

Here is an example: if a meter that has been calibrated for whole blood indicates a level of 200mg/dL (11.1mmol/L), a plasma-calibrated meter will display 220 to 230mg/dL (12.2 to 12.8mmol/L). That is something you have to get used to. The best thing is to ask your doctor to what extent your target values have to be adjusted.

All the manufacturers will probably switch to plasma in future and in many European countries it has already taken place. Diabetics will find the information about how their meter has been calibrated on the leaflet accompanying the test strips or also in the operating instructions for the meter.