Stress-induced hyperglycemia

Crit Care Clin. 2001 Jan;17(1):107-24. doi: 10.1016/s0749-0704(05)70154-8.


Stress hyperglycemia is common and likely to be associated with at least some of the same complications as hyperglycemia in true diabetes mellitus, such as poor wound healing and a higher infection rate. The predominant cause is the intense counterregulatory hormone and cytokine responses of critical illness, often compounded by excessive dextrose administration, usually as TPN. Although randomized data suggesting benefit of controlling hyperglycemia in hospitalized patients are paltry, prospective controlled trials are feasible and should be initiated. In the interim, the practice at the authors' institution is to use insulin to lower plasma glucose concentrations to a safe range of 150 mg/dL to 200 mg/dL in all patients.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / complications
  • Hyperglycemia / epidemiology
  • Hyperglycemia / etiology*
  • Hyperglycemia / physiopathology
  • Hyperglycemia / prevention & control
  • Insulin / therapeutic use
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Risk Factors
  • Stress, Physiological / complications*


  • Insulin
  • Glucose