Impaired postoperative hyperglycemic stress response associated with increased mortality in patients in the cardiothoracic surgery intensive care unit

Michael A. Via, Corey Scurlock, David H. Adams, Aaron J. Weiss, Jeffrey I. Mechanick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To describe the association of tight glycemic control with intensive insulin therapy and clinical outcome among patients in the cardiothoracic surgery intensive care unit. Methods: All patients who underwent cardiothoracic surgery and were admitted to the cardiothoracic surgery intensive care unit between September 13, 2007, and November 1, 2007, were enrolled. Clinical and metabolic data were prospectively collected. All patients received intensive insulin therapy using a nurse-driven dynamic protocol targeting blood glucose values of 80 to 110 mg/dL. Four stages of critical illness were defined as follows: acute critical illness (intensive care unit days 0-2), prolonged acute critical illness (intensive care unit 3 or more days), chronic critical illnesss (tracheotomy performed), and recovery (liberated from ventilator). Results: One hundred fourteen patients were enrolled. Seventy-three (64%) recovered during acute critical illness, 26 (23%) recovered during prolonged acute critical illness, and 15 (13%) progressed to chronic critical illness. All 6 deaths were among patients in chronic critial illness. Admission blood glucose and average blood glucose values for the first 12 hours were lower in patients who developed chronic critical illness and died and were higher in patients who developed chronic critical illness and survived (P = .007 and P = .007, respectively). Severe hypoglycemia (blood glucose <40 mg/dL) occurred once (0.03% of all measurements). Lower initial blood glucose values, which reflect an impaired stress response immediately after surgery, were associated with increased mortality, and a significant delay in achieving tight glycemic control with intensive insulin therapy was associated with prolonged intensive care unit course, but no increase in mortality. Conclusion: The study findings suggest that acute postoperative hyperglycemia and its prompt correction with intensive insulin therapy are associated with favorable outcomes in patients in the cardiothoracic surgery intensive care unit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)798-804
Number of pages7
JournalEndocrine Practice
Volume16
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2010

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