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Effect of an Intensive Glucose Management Protocol on the Mortality of Critically Ill Adult Patients


      To assess the effect of an intensive glucose management protocol in a heterogeneous population of critically ill adult patients.


      This study consisted of 800 consecutive patients admitted after institution of the protocol (treatment group, between February 1, 2003, and January 10, 2004) and 800 patients admitted immediately preceding institution of the protocol (baseline group, between February 23, 2002, and January 31, 2003). The setting was a 14-bed medical-surgical intensive care unit (ICU) in a university-affiliated community teaching hospital. The protocol involved intensive monitoring and treatment to maintain plasma glucose values lower than 140 mg/dL. Continuous intravenous insulin was used if glucose values exceeded 200 mg/ dL on 2 successive occasions.


      The 2 groups of patients were well matched, with similar age, sex, race, prevalence of diabetes mellitus, Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II scores, and distribution of diagnoses. After institution of the protocol, the mean glucose value decreased from 152.3 to 130.7 mg/dL (P<.001), marked by a 56.3% reduction in the percentage of glucose values of 200 mg/dL or higher, without a significant change in hypoglycemia. The development of new renal insufficiency decreased 75% (P=.03), and the number of patients undergoing transfusion of packed red blood cells decreased 18.7% (P=.04). Hospital mortality decreased 29.3% (P=.002), and length of stay in the ICU decreased 10.8% (P=.01).


      The protocol resulted in significantly improved glycemic control and was associated with decreased mortality, organ dysfunction, and length of stay in the ICU in a heterogeneous population of critically ill adult patients. These results support the adoption of this low-cost intervention as a standard of care for critically ill patients.
      APACHE (Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation), ICU (intensive care unit), LOS (length of stay), RBC (red blood cells)
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      Linked Article

      • Tight Blood Glucose Control With Insulin in “Real-Life” Intensive Care
        Mayo Clinic ProceedingsVol. 79Issue 8
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          Throughout the past decades, development of high-tech monitoring systems as well as mechanical and pharmacological support of vital organs has enabled physicians to “rescue” patients who would otherwise die of insults that induce profound hypoxia or shock. Despite this technological revolution, which also allowed intensive care medicine to be recognized as a medical subspecialty, outcome of many diseases for which patients are being treated in intensive care units (ICUs) has not improved dramatically.
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      • Correction
        Mayo Clinic ProceedingsVol. 80Issue 8
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          Incorrect table: In the article by Krinsley entitled “Effect of an Intensive Glucose Management Protocol on the Mortality of Critically Ill Adult Patients,” published in the August 2004 issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings (Mayo Clin Proc. 2004;79:992-1000), Table 2 on page 995 was incorrect. A correct version of Table 2 is shown below.
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