U.S. Department of Defense


Date of this Version



Published in The American Journal of Surgery, (2010), 200, 832–838


BACKGROUND: Tight glucose control (TGC) may reduce mortality in critically ill trauma patients. We hypothesize that euglycemia is beneficial, and a measure considering time and degree of hyperglycemia is most associated with mortality.

METHODS: We performed a review of intensive care unit trauma patients admitted for more than 3 days between January 2005 and December 2007 on a TGC protocol with a goal of 80 to 110 mg/dL. Hyperglycemic, hypoglycemic, and euglycemic time ranges, and area of interpolated curves above and below 80 to 110 mg/dL were assessed. Associations with mortality were based on logistic regression models adjusted for age, injury severity score, and admission Glasgow Coma Scale score.

RESULTS: A total of 546 patients were identified, and 68 (13%) died. Time spent as hyperglycemic (P = .29) and hyperglycemic area under the curve (P = .58) were not associated with mortality; hyperglycemic area/time (P = .01) was associated with mortality. Regarding hypoglycemia, area over the curve (P = .009) and time spent as hypoglycemic (P = .002) were associated with mortality.

CONCLUSIONS: TGC prevents prolonged, high degrees of hyperglycemia; avoiding hypoglycemia likely provides mortality benefit for trauma patients.