Objective: To describe hyperglycaemia as a possible marker of morbidity and mortality in critically ill medical and surgical patients admitted to a multidisciplinary ICU.
Design: Prospective cohort study.
Setting: A 13-bed non-cardiac multidisciplinary ICU in a university hospital.
Patients and participants: Adult patients consecutively admitted to the ICU in a 6-month period. Patients with fewer than 2 days' stay in the ICU and patients with known diabetes were excluded.
Measurements and results: At admission a registration form was filled in including demographic data, first and second day APACHE II scores, infections and daily maximum blood glucose level. In surgical patients, high maximum blood glucose level during the stay in ICU was correlated with increased mortality, morbidity and frequency of infection. In medical patients, we found a non-significant trend towards a correlation between hyperglycaemia and morbidity and mortality, respectively.
Conclusions: High blood glucose level during the stay in ICU was a marker of increased morbidity and mortality in critically ill surgical patients. In medical patients the same trend was found, but non-significant. The population of patients in the present study are heterogeneous and the results from surgical critically ill patients should not be generalised to medical patients.