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Open Access Highly Accessed Research

Tight perioperative glucose control is associated with a reduction in renal impairment and renal failure in non-diabetic cardiac surgical patients

Patrick Lecomte1, Bruno Van Vlem2, Jose Coddens1, Guy Cammu1, Guy Nollet1, Frank Nobels3, Hugo Vanermen4 and Luc Foubert1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Anaesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Onze-Lieve-Vrouw Hospital, Moorselbaan 164, 9300 Aalst, Belgium

2 Department of Nephrology, Onze-Lieve-Vrouw Hospital, Moorselbaan 164, 9300 Aalst, Belgium

3 Department of Endocrinology, Onze-Lieve-Vrouw Hospital, Moorselbaan 164, 9300 Aalst, Belgium

4 Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, Onze-Lieve-Vrouw Hospital, Moorselbaan 164, 9300 Aalst, Belgium

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Critical Care 2008, 12:R154  doi:10.1186/cc7145

Published: 4 December 2008

Abstract

Introduction

Acute renal failure after cardiac surgery increases in-hospital mortality. We evaluated the effect of intra- and postoperative tight control of blood glucose levels on renal function after cardiac surgery based on the Risk, Injury, Failure, Loss, and End-stage kidney failure (RIFLE) criteria, and on the need for acute postoperative dialysis.

Methods

We retrospectively analyzed two groups of consecutive patients undergoing cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass between August 2004 and June 2006. In the first group, no tight glycemic control was implemented (Control, n = 305). Insulin therapy was initiated at blood glucose levels > 150 mg/dL. In the group with tight glycemic control (Insulin, n = 745), intra- and postoperative blood glucose levels were targeted between 80 to 110 mg/dL, using the Aalst Glycemia Insulin Protocol. Postoperative renal impairment or failure was evaluated with the RIFLE score, based on serum creatinine, glomerular filtration rate and/or urinary output. We used the Cleveland Clinic Severity Score to compare the predicted vs observed incidence of acute postoperative dialysis between groups.

Results

Mean blood glucose levels in the Insulin group were lower compared to the Control group from rewarming on cardiopulmonary bypass onwards until ICU discharge (p < 0.0001). Median ICU stay was 2 days in both groups. In non-diabetics, strict perioperative blood glucose control was associated with a reduced incidence of renal impairment (p = 0.01) and failure (p = 0.02) scoring according to RIFLE criteria, as well as a reduced incidence of acute postoperative dialysis (from 3.9% in Control to 0.7% in Insulin; p < 0.01). The 30-day mortality was lower in the Insulin than in the Control group (1.2% vs 3.6%; p = 0.02), representing a 70% decrease in non-diabetics (p < 0.05) and 56.1% in diabetics (not significant). The observed overall incidence of acute postoperative dialysis was adequately predicted by the Cleveland Clinic Severity Score in the Control group (p = 0.6), but was lower than predicted in the Insulin group (1.2% vs 3%, p = 0.03).

Conclusions

In non-diabetic patients, tight perioperative blood glucose control is associated with a significant reduction in postoperative renal impairment and failure after cardiac surgery according to the RIFLE criteria. In non-diabetics, tight blood glucose control was associated with a decreased need for postoperative dialysis, as well as 30-day mortality, despite of a relatively short ICU stay.