Maltose, a disaccharide composed of two glucose molecules, is used in a number of biological preparations as a stabilizing agent or osmolality regulator. Icodextrin, which is converted to maltose, is present in a peritoneal dialysis solution. Galactose and xylose are found in some foods, herbs, and dietary supplements; they are also used in diagnostic tests. When some blood glucose monitoring systems are used--specifically, those that use test strips containing the enzymes glucose dehydrogenase-pyrroloquinolinequinone or glucose dye oxidoreductase--in patients receiving maltose, icodextrin, galactose, or xylose, interference of blood glucose levels can occur. Maltose, icodextrin, galactose, and xylose are misinterpreted as glucose, which can result in erroneously elevated serum glucose levels. This interference can result in the administration of insulin, which may lead to hypoglycemia. In severe cases of hypoglycemia, deaths have occurred. If patients are receiving maltose, icodextrin, galactose, or xylose, clinicians must review the package inserts of all test strips to determine the type of glucose monitoring system being used and to use only those systems whose tests strips contain glucose oxidase, glucose dehydrogenase-nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, or glucose dehydrogenase-flavin adenine dinucleotide.
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