Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 25177798
Crit Care 2014;18(4):232
Stress-induced hyperglycemia has been considered an adaptive mechanism to stress up to the first intensive insulin therapy trial, which showed a 34% reduction in relative risk of in-hospital mortality when normalizing blood glucose levels. Further trials had conflicting results and, at present, stress-induced hyperglycemia management remains non-consensual. These findings could be explained by discrepancies in trials, notably regarding the approach to treat hyperglycemia: high versus restrictive caloric intake. Stress-induced hyperglycemia is a frequent complication during intensive care unit stay and is associated with a higher mortality. It results from an imbalance between insulin and counter-regulatory hormones, increased neoglucogenesis, and the cytokine-induced insulin-resistant state of tissues. In this review, we summarize detrimental effects of hyperglycemia on organs in the critically ill (peripheric and central nervous, liver, immune system, kidney, and cardiovascular system). Finally, we show clinical and experimental evidence of potential benefits from glucose and insulin administration, notably on metabolism, immunity, and the cardiovascular system.