Glucose control in sepsis

Clin Chest Med. 2008 Dec;29(4):713-20, x. doi: 10.1016/j.ccm.2008.06.002.


Hyperglycemia is common during the course of critical illness and is associated with adverse clinical outcomes. Randomized controlled trials and large observational trials of insulin therapy titrated to achieve glucose values approximating the normal range (80 to 110 mg/dL) demonstrate improved morbidity and mortality in heterogeneous populations and have led to recommendations for improved glucose control. Patients who have septic shock, however, appear to be at higher risk for hypoglycemia, and a recent randomized trial focusing exclusively on patients who had severe sepsis did not show benefit. The recent Surviving Sepsis consensus statement recommends insulin therapy using validated protocols to lower glucose (less than 150 mg/dL) pending the results of adequately powered trials to determine if normalization (less than 110 mg/dL) of glucose is needed to optimize outcomes in patients who have severe sepsis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / blood*
  • Hyperglycemia / drug therapy*
  • Hypoglycemia / blood
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Insulin / therapeutic use*
  • Prognosis
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Sepsis / blood*
  • Sepsis / drug therapy*
  • Shock, Septic / blood
  • Shock, Septic / drug therapy


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin