Persistent hyperglycemia in critically ill children

J Pediatr. 2005 Jan;146(1):30-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2004.08.076.


Objectives: To determine the prevalence and prognostic significance of hyperglycemia among critically ill nondiabetic children.

Study design: We performed a retrospective cohort study using point-of-care blood glucose measurements, hospital administrative databases, and a computerized information system; 942 nondiabetic patients admitted to our Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) from October 2000 to September 2003 were included. The prevalence of hyperglycemia was based on initial PICU glucose measurement, highest value within 24 hours, and highest value measured during PICU stay up to 10 days after the first measurement. Primary outcome was in-hospital death with PICU lengths of stay (LOS) as secondary outcome.

Results: Through the use of three cutoff values (120 mg/dL, 150 mg/dL, and 200 mg/dL), the prevalence of hyperglycemia was 16.7% to 75.0%. The relative risk (RR) for dying increased for maximum glucose within 24 hours >150 mg/dL (RR, 2.50; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.26 to 4.93) and highest glucose within 10 days >120 mg/dL (RR, 5.68; 95% CI, 1.38 to 23.47). LOS was decreased for admission glucose >120 mg/dL and 150 mg/dL but increased for all threshold values for maximum glucose within 10 days.

Conclusions: Hyperglycemia occurs frequently among critically ill nondiabetic children and is correlated with a greater in-hospital mortality rate and longer LOS.

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Critical Illness / mortality*
  • Female
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / complications*
  • Hyperglycemia / mortality*
  • Infant
  • Intensive Care Units, Pediatric
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Time Factors


  • Blood Glucose