A glucometer using glucose dehydrogenase test strips may give a falsely elevated whole blood glucose reading when exposed to blood containing maltose. A person with circulating maltose should have blood glucose testing performed using the glucose oxidase method.


Mechanism: The glucose dehydrogenase method is not specific for glucose and may detect other sugars such as maltose. The reported glucose level may be significantly elevated in comparison to the actual level.


Sources of maltose:

(1) parenteral drug using maltose to make the drug isotonic with plasma

(1a) Octagam immune globulin for intravenous infusion

(2) chemical carbohydrate compound that is metabolized to maltose

(2a) icodextrin used in a peritoneal dialysis solution


Adverse consequences to the patient:

(1) A normoglycemic patient may be diagnosed as having hyperglycemia and receive insulin.

(2) A hypoglycemic patient may be thought to be normoglycemic.



(1) A discrepancy is found between readings from a glucometer using glucose dehydrogenase and a method using glucose oxidase method (laboratory analyzer, another glucometer)

(2) A source of maltose is identified.


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