Parenterally administered dipeptide alanyl-glutamine prevents worsening of insulin sensitivity in multiple-trauma patients

Crit Care Med. 2006 Feb;34(2):381-6. doi: 10.1097/01.ccm.0000196829.30741.d4.


Background: Dipeptide alanyl-glutamine is a commonly used substrate in major trauma patients. Its importance and effects are widely discussed; as yet, it has not been elucidated whether its administration influences glucose homeostasis.

Objective: We studied the effect of alanyl-glutamine administration on insulin resistance.

Design: Prospective, randomized, controlled trial.

Setting: Intensive care unit of a tertiary level hospital.

Patients: Multiple-trauma patients.

Interventions: Patients were randomized into two groups and assigned to receive parenterally an equal dose of amino acids either with alanyl-glutamine in the dose of 0.4 g x kg body weight(-1) x 24 hrs(-1) (group AG) or without alanyl-glutamine (control group C). This regimen started 24 hrs after injury and continued for 7 days. To assess insulin sensitivity, we performed an euglycemic clamp on day 4 and day 8 after injury.

Measurements and main results: We randomized 40 patients, 20 into each group. At day 4, insulin-mediated glucose disposal was higher in group AG (2.4 +/- 0.7 mg x kg(-1) x min(-1) glucose), with significant difference from group C (1.9 +/- 0.6 mg x kg(-1) x min(-1), p = .044). At day 8, glucose disposal was higher in group AG (2.2 +/- 0.7 mg x kg(-1) x min(-1) glucose), with significant difference in comparison with group C (1.2 +/- 0.6, p < .001). Diminution of the main glucose homeostasis variables in group C between days 4 and 8 of the study was statistically significant (p < .001); however, differences in these variables in group AG were without statistical significance.

Conclusions: Parenteral supplementation of alanyl-glutamine dipeptide was associated with better insulin sensitivity in multiple-trauma patients.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose / drug effects
  • Dipeptides / administration & dosage
  • Dipeptides / therapeutic use*
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Female
  • Glucose Clamp Technique
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Parenteral
  • Injury Severity Score
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Male
  • Multiple Trauma / classification
  • Multiple Trauma / drug therapy*
  • Multiple Trauma / metabolism


  • Blood Glucose
  • Dipeptides
  • alanylglutamine