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Differential response between diabetes and stress-induced hyperglycaemia to algorithmic use of detemir and flexible mealtime aspart among stable postcardiac surgery patients requiring intravenous insulin


Kathleen Dungan, 491 McCampbell Hall, 1581 Dodd Drive, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.


Aim: To determine whether an insulin algorithm could be used in a similar manner in the setting of diabetes and stress hyperglycaemia following cessation of intravenous (IV) insulin after cardiac surgery.

Methods: Subjects who were clinically stable, requiring ≥1 unit/h of IV insulin 48 h after surgery, were randomized to once daily detemir at 50, 65 or 80% of IV insulin requirements and received aspart according to carbohydrate intake. Diabetes was defined as any history of diabetes or preoperative HbA1c 6.5%.

Results: The morning glucose in patients with diabetes was 143 mg/dl (n = 61) vs. 124 mg/dl in those with stress hyperglycaemia (n = 21,p = 0.05) on day 1 and 127 vs. 110 mg/dl over 72 h (p = 0.01). This was unaffected by adjustment for initial dosing group. At 72 h, 56% of patients with stress hyperglycaemia reached AM (80–130 mg/dl) and 87% reached overall (80–180 mg/dl) glucose targets, compared to 90 and 100% of patients with stress hyperglycaemia, respectively. There was no difference in hypoglycaemia in patients with stress hyperglycaemia or diabetes. The percentage of patients with diabetes receiving insulin was 46% on admission and 77% at discharge, compared to 0 and 42% of patients with stress hyperglycaemia.

Conclusions: Following cardiac surgery, patients with stress hyperglycaemia may be converted from IV insulin to detemir with a 50% conversion factor, while patients with diabetes may require a higher conversion factor. Stress hyperglycaemia may be prolonged; the intensity and duration of insulin therapy required for optimal outcomes warrants further examination.