Relationship between admission hyperglycemia and neurologic outcome of severely brain-injured patients

B. Young, L. Ott, R. Dempsey, D. Haack, P. Tibbs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

163 Scopus citations

Abstract

Severe head injury is associated with a stress response that includes hyperglycemia, which has been shown to worsen outcome before or during cerebral ischemia. To better define the relationship between human head injury and hyperglycemia, glucose levels were followed in 59 consecutive brain-injured patients from hospital admission up to 18 days after injury. The patients who had the highest peak admission 24-hour serum glucose levels had the worse 18-day neurologic outcome (p = 0.01). Patients with peak 24-hour admission glucose levels greater than 200 mg/dL had a two-unit increase in Glasgow Coma Scale score while patients with admission peak 24-hour serum glucose levels less than or equal to 200 mg/dL had a four-unit increase in Glasgow Coma Scale score during the 18-day study period (p = 0.04). There was a significant relationship between 3-month and 1-year outcome and peak admission 24-hour serum glucose level (p = 0.02 and p = 0.02, respectively). Those patients with admission peak 24-hour serum glucose levels less than or equal to 200 mg/dL had a greater percentage of favorable outcome at 18 days, 3 months, and 1 year than those with admission peak 24-hour glucose levels greater than 200 mg/dL (p = 0.0007, p = 0.03, and p = 0.005, respectively). A significant relationship between admission peak 24-hour Glasgow Coma Scale score and 18-day, 3-month, and 1-year outcomes was found (p = 0.0001, p = 0.0002, and p = 0.0002, respectively). Patients with mean admission peak 24-hour Glasgow Coma Scale scores of 3.5, 6, and 10 had mean admission 24-hour peak serum glucose levels of 252 ± 23.5, 219.1 ± 19, and 185.8 ± 21, respectively (p = 0.05). These relationships were not significantly altered when confounding variables such as the amount of glucose given over the initial 24-hour postinjury period, the presence of diabetes or multiple injuries, and whether patients were given steroids, dilantin, or insulin were statistically incorporated. These data suggest that admission hyperglycemia is a frequent component of the stress response to head injury, a significant indicator of severity of injury, and a significant predictor of outcome from head injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)466-473
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Surgery
Volume210
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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