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Intensive versus conventional glucose control in critically ill patients: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Yan Ling, Xiaomu Li, Xin Gao
European Journal of Internal Medicine 2012, 23 (6): 564-74
22863436

BACKGROUND: Critically ill patients commonly develop hyperglycemia. It remains unclear, however, to what extent correcting hyperglycemia will benefit these patients. We performed this meta-analysis to evaluate the benefits and risks of intensive glucose control versus conventional glucose control in critically ill adult patients.

METHODS: A systematic literature search of MEDLINE, PubMed, and Cochrane databases (until June 2011) was conducted using specific search terms. Randomized controlled trials that compared intensive glucose control with a target glucose goal <6.1 mmol/l (110 mg/dl) to conventional glucose control in adult intensive care patients were included. The random-effect model was used to estimate the pooled risk ratio of the two treatment arms.

RESULTS: Twenty two studies that randomized 13,978 participants were included in the meta-analysis. Overall, intensive glucose control did not reduce the short-term mortality (RR=1.02, 95% CI: 0.95-1.10, p=0.51), 90 day or 180 day mortality (RR=1.06, 95% CI: 0.99-1.13, p=0.08), sepsis (RR=0.96, 95% CI: 0.83-1.12, p=0.59) or new need for dialysis (RR=0.96, 95% CI: 0.83-1.11, p=0.57). The incidence of hypoglycemia was significantly higher in intensive glucose control group compared with conventional glucose control group (RR=5.01, 95% CI: 3.45-7.28, p<0.00001).

CONCLUSIONS: This meta-analysis found that intensive glucose control in critically ill adults did not reduce mortality but is associated with a significantly increased risk of hypoglycemia.

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