Table 1

Advantages and disadvantages of dual- and triple-tracer methods

AdvantagesDisadvantages
Dual-tracer method
  • Requires only two tracers

  • Requires only one tracer infusion pump

  • Less expensive than the triple-tracer approach

  • Gives an inaccurate assessment of the rates of EGP, Rameal, and Rd, with the error being the largest during the first 1–2 h after meal ingestion

Triple-tracer method
  • Provides more accurate assessment of the rates of EGP, Rameal, and glucose disposal following ingestion of a carbohydrate-containing meal

  • Requires three tracers

  • Requires programmable tracer infusion pumps

  • Costs approximately 33% more than the dual-tracer method

  • Requires analysis of the enrichment/specific activities of three tracers

  • Requires EGP to be calculated directly rather than by subtracting Rameal from total Ra

  • Requires a few pilot studies to confirm that the tracer infusion profiles are appropriate