Management of Glucocorticoid-Induced Hyperglycemia

Link to article at PubMed

Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes. 2022 May 23;15:1577-1588. doi: 10.2147/DMSO.S330253. eCollection 2022.


Glucocorticoids are potent immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory drugs used for various systemic and localized conditions. The use of glucocorticoids needs to be weighed against their adverse effect of aggravating hyperglycemia in persons with diabetes mellitus, unmask undiagnosed diabetes mellitus, or precipitate glucocorticoid-induced diabetes mellitus appearance. Hyperglycemia is associated with poor clinical outcomes, including infection, disability after hospital discharge, prolonged hospital stay, and death. Furthermore, clear guidelines for managing glucocorticoid-induced hyperglycemia are lacking. Therefore, this consensus document aims to develop guidance on the management of glucocorticoid-induced hyperglycemia. Twenty expert endocrinologists, in a virtual meeting, discussed the evidence and practical experience of real-life management of glucocorticoid-induced hyperglycemia. The expert group concluded that we should be proactive in terms of diagnosis, management, and post-steroid care. Since every patient has different severity of underlying disease, clinical stratification would help understand patient profiles and determine the treatment course. Patients at home with pre-existing diabetes who are already on oral or injectable therapy can continue the same as long as they are clinically stable and eating adequately. However, depending on the degree of hyperglycemia, modification of doses may be required. Initiating basal bolus with correction regimen is recommended for patients in non-intensive care unit settings. For patients in intensive care unit, variable rate intravenous insulin infusion could be temporarily used, but under supervision of diabetes inpatient team, and patients can be transitioned to subcutaneous insulin once stable baseline assessment and continual evaluation are crucial for day-to-day decisions concerning insulin doses. Glycemic variability should be carefully monitored, and interventions to treat patients should also aim at achieving and maintaining euglycemia. Rational use of glucose-lowering drugs is recommended and treatment regimen should ensure maximum safety for both patient and provider. Glucovigilance is required as the steroids taper during transition, and insulin dosage should be reduced subsequently. Increased clinical and economic burden resulting from corticosteroid-related adverse events highlights the need for effective management. Therefore, these recommendations would help successfully manage GC-induced hyperglycemia and judiciously allocate resources.

PMID:35637859 | PMC:PMC9142341 | DOI:10.2147/DMSO.S330253

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