The flashlight test lacks validity as a screen for nocturnal hypoglycemia

B. B. Duncan, M. I. Schmidt, J. S. Skyler, G. J. Ellis, A. Keller, M. H. Rathjens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Though never validated, the flashlight test is a commonly used screen for nocturnal hypoglycemia. Between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m., we applied the test to 107 children at Eagle's Nest Camp for Children with Diabetes. We validated the test against simultaneously determined capillary blood glucose values (Glucoscan). An eyelid squint in response to the flashlight was considered an intact test. No significant difference existed between mean glucoses for intact and nonintact responses. Both sensitivity and positive predictive value are too low for the flashlight test to be useful in screening for nocturnal hypoglycemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-272
Number of pages4
JournalDiabetes care
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1984
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing

Cite this

Duncan, B. B., Schmidt, M. I., Skyler, J. S., Ellis, G. J., Keller, A., & Rathjens, M. H. (1984). The flashlight test lacks validity as a screen for nocturnal hypoglycemia. Diabetes care, 7(3), 269-272.