Inpatient glycemic control: an evolving paradigm.

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Inpatient glycemic control: an evolving paradigm.

Postgrad Med. 2009 May;121(3):26-32

Authors: Yalla NM, Reynolds LR

In 2001, Van den Berghe et al published a landmark study of intensive insulin therapy in the setting of a surgical intensive care unit (ICU). Increased attention was also focused on the observational evidence indicating that hyperglycemia is associated with increased morbidity and mortality among diverse patient populations. Because of the dramatic reduction in mortality with normalization of glucose levels in the single center, the Van den Berghe study led to widespread adoption of this practice in ICUs worldwide. Hospitals also began to implement rational subcutaneous insulin protocols based on the American Diabetes Association technical review, replacing the ineffective practice of sliding-scale insulin. Logistical challenges have included coordination of multiple hospital departments and achieving multidisciplinary consensus on goals and methods. Subsequent to the initial Van den Berghe study, other multicenter trials have been fraught with an increased frequency of hypoglycemia and have failed to consistently demonstrate improved outcomes with intensive insulin therapy. Hospitals and expert panels are in the process of examining the combined evidence and considering modifying treatment goals. We recommend continued focus on avoiding hyperglycemia with less aggressive glycemic targets in the critically ill and rational subcutaneous insulin in the noncritically ill, avoiding a return to the obsolescence of sliding-scale insulin.

PMID: 19491537 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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