Journal of Emergencies, Trauma, and Shock
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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 359-364

Tight blood glucose control in trauma patients: Who really benefits?

1 Departments of Trauma, Surgical Critical Care and Acute Care Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA
2 Departments of Trauma, Surgical Critical Care and Acute Care Surgery, Georgetown University School of Medicine, Georgetown, Washington, DC, USA
3 Department of Trauma Surgery, Saint Mary's Health Care, Grand Rapids, MI, USA
4 Department of Surgical Critical Care, Spectrum Health, Grand Rapids, MI, USA
5 Department of Trauma/Surgical Critical Care/Acute Care Surgery, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA

Correspondence Address:
Evert A Eriksson
Departments of Trauma, Surgical Critical Care and Acute Care Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-2700.83864

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Background : This study was designed to evaluate the effect of intensive insulin control (IIT) on outcomes for traumatically injured patients as a function of injury severity score (ISS) and age. Patients and Methods : A retrospective review of 2028 adult trauma patients admitted to the surgical intensive care unit (SICU) in a Level I trauma center was performed. Data were collected from a 48-month period before (Pre-IIT) (goal blood glucose 80-200 mg/dL) and after (Post-IIT) (goal blood glucose level 80-110 mg/dL), an IIT protocol was initiated. Patients were stratified by age and ISS. The primary endpoint was mortality. Results : There were 784 Pre-IIT and 1244 Post-IIT patients admitted. There was no significant difference between Pre-IIT vs. Post-IIT for the mechanism of injury or ISS. Values for the Pre-IIT group were significantly higher for mortality (21.5% vs. 14.7%, P<0.001) and hospital, but not ICU length of stay were decreased. A significant improvement in mortality was demonstrated between Pre-IIT vs. Post-IIT stratified within the age groups of 41-50, 51-60, and 61 but not the groups 18-30 and 31-40. Mean glucose levels (mg/dL) decreased significantly after the institution of IIT (144.7±1.4 vs. 130.9±0.9; P<0.001). In addition, the occurrence per patient of blood glucose levels <40 mg/dL increased (0.77% vs. 2.86%; P=0.001) and blood glucose levels greater than 200 mg/dL was similar (39.1% vs. 38.8%; P=0.892) in the Pre-IIT and Post-IIT groups, respectively. Glycemic variability, reflected by the standard deviation of each patient's mean glucose level during ICU stay, as well as mean glucose level were lower in survivors than in nonsurvivors. Finally, multivariable logistic regression analysis identified both mean glucose level and glycemic variability as independent contributors to the risk of mortality. Conclusions : The implementation of IIT has been associated with a decrease in both hospital length of stay as well as mortality. Average glucose value and glucose variability are independent predictors of survival. Trauma patients with moderate, severe, and very severe injuries benefit most from IIT. These observational data suggest that patients over 40 years of age benefited a great deal more than their younger counterparts from IIT. This study supports the need for a randomized controlled trial to investigate the role of IIT in traumatically injured patients.

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