Analytic review: glucose controversies in the ICU.J Intensive Care Med. 2011 May-Jun; 26(3):135-50.JI
Hyperglycemia is common in critical illness and has been associated with increased morbidity and mortality. An era of tight glucose control began when intensive insulin therapy was shown to improve outcomes in a single-center randomized trial. More recently, with the publication of additional studies, questions have been raised regarding the efficacy and safety of intensive glycemic management. This article will review the biologic mechanisms that may help us understand why and how hyperglycemia and insulin are relevant in critical illness. We will then explore insights gleaned from available clinical trials. Finally, we will discuss specific areas of controversy that relate to the implementation of glycemic control in the intensive care unit, such as the ideal glucose target and the importance of hypoglycemia.