Curr Med Res Opin. 2021 Oct 25:1-27. doi: 10.1080/03007995.2021.1997288. Online ahead of print.
Hyperglycemia in hospitalized patients, either with or without diabetes, is a common, serious, and costly healthcare problem. Evidence accumulated over 20 years has associated hyperglycemia with a significant increase in morbidity and mortality, both in surgical and medical patients. Based on this documented link between hyperglycemia and poor outcomes, clinical guidelines from professional organizations recommend the treatment of hospital hyperglycemia with a therapeutic goal of maintaining blood glucose levels less than 180 mg/dL. Insulin therapy remains a mainstay of glycemic management in the inpatient setting. The use of non-insulin antidiabetic drugs in the hospital setting is limited because little data are available regarding their safety and efficacy. However, information about the use of incretin-based therapy in inpatients has increased in the past 15 years. This review aims to summarize the different treatment strategies for hyperglycemia in hospitalized noncritical patients that are supported by observational studies or clinical trials with insulin and non-insulin drugs. In addition, we propose a protocol to help with the management of this important clinical problem.