Blood glucose amplitude variability as predictor for mortality in surgical and medical intensive care unit patients: a multicenter cohort study

J Crit Care. 2012 Apr;27(2):119-24. doi: 10.1016/j.jcrc.2011.11.004. Epub 2012 Jan 9.


Purpose: The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that blood glucose amplitude variability (BGAV) is associated with mortality in critically ill patients.

Method: A prospectively collected multicenter data set including all glucose measurements during intensive care unit (ICU) treatment and outcome was analyzed. We used logistic regression to assess the association between hospital mortality and standard deviation (SD), mean amplitude of glycemic excursions (MAGE), mean absolute glucose change per hour (MAG), and glycemic lability index (GLI). The analysis was adjusted for ICU, Acute Physiology And Chronic Health Evaluation IV-expected mortality, the presence of severe hypoglycemia, mean glucose, mean glucose measurement interval, and interaction between the latter 2.

Results: There were 855,032 glucose measurements included of 20,375 patients admitted to 37 Dutch ICUs in 2008 and 2009. Median Acute Physiology And Chronic Health Evaluation IV-predicted mortality was 14%, and median glucose was 7.3 mmol/L. In all patients combined, adjusted hospital mortality was associated with SD and MAGE, but not with MAG and GLI. In surgical patients, adjusted hospital mortality was associated with SD, MAGE, and MAG, but not GLI. In medical patients, adjusted mortality was associated with SD but not with other BGAV measures.

Conclusion: Not all BGAV measures were associated with mortality. Blood glucose amplitude variability as quantified by SD was consistently independently associated with hospital mortality.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Critical Care
  • Critical Illness / mortality*
  • Hospital Mortality*
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Blood Glucose