Impaired glucose metabolism in patients with acute stroke and no previous diagnosis of diabetes mellitus

QJM. 2005 Dec;98(12):871-8. doi: 10.1093/qjmed/hci134. Epub 2005 Oct 20.

Abstract

Background: About a third of patients with acute stroke and no prior diagnosis of diabetes have hyperglycaemia during the acute phase of stroke. Whether this is an acute stress response or a reflection of underlying diabetes is controversial.

Aim: To assess whether impaired glucose metabolism in patients with acute ischaemic stroke and no previous diagnosis of diabetes persists after 3 months, and whether such persistence can be predicted.

Design: Prospective observational study.

Methods: We enrolled 106 patients with acute ischaemic stroke and no history of diabetes. Fasting blood glucose, serum insulin and the insulin resistance index HOMA were recorded during hospital stay. A standard oral glucose tolerance test was performed at discharge and 3 months later.

Results: Ten patients did not complete the study. Eighty-one patients (84.4%) had abnormal glucose metabolism at discharge and 62 (64.6%) after 3 months. Thirty-seven (38.5%) had impaired glucose tolerance at discharge and 26 (27.1%) after 3 months. Forty-four (45.8%) had diabetes at discharge, and 36 (37.5%) at 3 months. Post-load hyperglycaemia at discharge was a predictor of diabetes after 3 months. A plasma glucose cut-off of 11.7 mmol/l (210 mg/dl) had a specificity of 90.0% and a positive predictive value of 81.3%. HOMA increased progressively from patients with normal glucose metabolism to those with newly diagnosed diabetes.

Discussion: Impaired glucose tolerance and previously unrecognized diabetes could be detected early in the stroke course, and persisted after 3 months in more than two-thirds of our patients. Post-load hyperglycaemia during the acute phase of stroke may be useful in identifying patients with abnormal glucose metabolism, which places them at risk for adverse outcomes, including cardiovascular disease.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Aged
  • Diabetes Complications / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / diagnosis
  • Diabetes Mellitus / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Glucose Intolerance / metabolism*
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / analysis
  • Humans
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Regression Analysis
  • Stroke / metabolism*

Substances

  • Glycated Hemoglobin A