Clinical review: Strict or loose glycemic control in critically ill patients - implementing best available evidence from randomized controlled trials.
Crit Care. 2010 Jun 7;14(3):223
Authors: Schultz MJ, Harmsen RE, Spronk PE
ABSTRACT: Glycemic control aiming at normoglycemia, frequently referred to as 'strict glycemic control' (SGC), decreased mortality and morbidity of adult critically ill patients in two randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Five successive RCTs, however, failed to show benefit of SGC with one trial even reporting an unexpected higher mortality. Consequently, enthusiasm for the implementation of SGC has declined, hampering translation of SGC into daily ICU practice. In this manuscript we attempt to explain the variances in outcomes of the RCTs of SGC, and point out other limitations of the current literature on glycemic control in ICU patients. There are several alternative explanations for why the five negative RCTs showed no beneficial effects of SGC, apart from the possibility that SGC may indeed not benefit ICU patients. These include, but are not restricted to, variability in the performance of SGC, differences among trial designs, changes in standard of care, differences in timing (that is, initiation) of SGC, and the convergence between the intervention groups and control groups with respect to achieved blood glucose levels in the successive RCTs. Additional factors that may hamper translation of SGC into daily ICU practice include the feared risk of severe hypoglycemia, additional labor associated with SGC, and uncertainties about who the primarily responsible caregiver should be for the implementation of SGC.
PMID: 20550725 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]