Context: Laboratory studies suggest that in the setting of cardiac ischemia, immediate intravenous glucose-insulin-potassium (GIK) reduces ischemia-related arrhythmias and myocardial injury. Clinical trials have not consistently shown these benefits, possibly due to delayed administration.
Objective: To test out-of hospital emergency medical service (EMS) administration of GIK in the first hours of suspected acute coronary syndromes (ACS).
Design, setting, and participants: Randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind effectiveness trial in 13 US cities (36 EMS agencies), from December 2006 through July 31, 2011, in which paramedics, aided by electrocardiograph (ECG)-based decision support, randomized 911 (871 enrolled) patients (mean age, 63.6 years; 71.0% men) with high probability of ACS.
Intervention: Intravenous GIK solution (n = 411) or identical-appearing 5% glucose placebo (n = 460) administered by paramedics in the out-of-hospital setting and continued for 12 hours.
Main outcome measures: The prespecified primary end point was progression of ACS to myocardial infarction (MI) within 24 hours, as assessed by biomarkers and ECG evidence. Prespecified secondary end points included survival at 30 days and a composite of prehospital or in-hospital cardiac arrest or in-hospital mortality, analyzed by intent-to-treat and by presentation with ST-segment elevation.
Results: There was no significant difference in the rate of progression to MI among patients who received GIK (n = 200; 48.7%) vs those who received placebo (n = 242; 52.6%) (odds ratio [OR], 0.88; 95% CI, 0.66-1.13; P = .28). Thirty-day mortality was 4.4% with GIK vs 6.1% with placebo (hazard ratio [HR], 0.72; 95% CI, 0.40-1.29; P = .27). The composite of cardiac arrest or in-hospital mortality occurred in 4.4% with GIK vs 8.7% with placebo (OR, 0.48; 95% CI, 0.27-0.85; P = .01). Among patients with ST-segment elevation (163 with GIK and 194 with placebo), progression to MI was 85.3% with GIK vs 88.7% with placebo (OR, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.40-1.38; P = .34); 30-day mortality was 4.9% with GIK vs 7.7% with placebo (HR, 0.63; 95% CI, 0.27-1.49; P = .29). The composite outcome of cardiac arrest or in-hospital mortality was 6.1% with GIK vs 14.4% with placebo (OR, 0.39; 95% CI, 0.18-0.82; P = .01). Serious adverse events occurred in 6.8% (n = 28) with GIK vs 8.9% (n = 41) with placebo (P = .26).
Conclusions: Among patients with suspected ACS, out-of-hospital administration of intravenous GIK, compared with glucose placebo, did not reduce progression to MI. Compared with placebo, GIK administration was not associated with improvement in 30-day survival but was associated with lower rates of the composite outcome of cardiac arrest or in-hospital mortality.
Trial registration: clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00091507.