Acute glucose elevation is highly predictive of infection and outcome in critically injured trauma patients

Ann Surg. 2010 Oct;252(4):597-602. doi: 10.1097/SLA.0b013e3181f4e499.


Objective(s): To evaluate whether acute glucose elevation (AGE) is predictive of infection and outcome in critically injured trauma patients during the first 14 days of ICU admission.

Methods: A prospective study was conducted on 2200 patients admitted to the ICU over a 2 1/2 year period. The diagnosis of infection was made via a multidisciplinary fashion utilizing CDC criteria. After early glucose stabilization occurred (no significant change for 48 hours after admission) monitoring for AGE was performed utilizing a computational and graded algorithmic model. Iatrogenic causes of AGE were excluded. Stepwise regression models were performed controlling for age, gender, mechanism of injury, diabetes, injury severity, and APACHE 2 score. ROC curves were used to evaluate the positive predictive value of the test.

Results: Seventy-seven percent of the patients in the cohort were males, and were admitted for blunt injuries (n = 1870 or 85%). The mean age, Injury Severity Score, and APACHE score were 44 ± 20 years, 29 ± 13, and 13 ± 7, respectively. The mean admission serum glucose value was 141 ± 36 mg/dL (range, 64-418 mg/dL). A total of 616 (28%) patients were diagnosed with an infection during the first 14 days of admission. AGE had a 91% positive predictive value for infection diagnosis. In addition, AGE was associated with a significant increase in ventilator, ICU, and hospital days as well as mortality even when adjusted for age, injury severity, APACHE score, and diabetes (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: AGE is a highly accurate predictor of infection and should stimulate clinicians to identify a new source of infection.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Algorithms
  • Blood Glucose / analysis*
  • Critical Illness
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infections / blood*
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Wound Infection / blood*
  • Wound Infection / diagnosis
  • Wounds and Injuries / blood*


  • Blood Glucose