Context: Transition of diabetic patients from iv insulin infusion to s.c. insulin frequently results in rebound hyperglycemia.
Objectives: We hypothesized that initiation of a long-acting insulin therapy concurrently with i.v. insulin infusion would decrease the rate of rebound hyperglycemia after discontinuation of the insulin infusion.
Design and intervention: Sixty-one diabetic patients receiving i.v. insulin therapy participated in this prospective randomized study. Subjects in the intervention group received daily injections of glargine s.c. (0.25 U/kg body weight) starting within 12 h of initiation of i.v. insulin infusion. Capillary blood glucose measurements were obtained up to 12 h after discontinuation of insulin infusion. Rebound hyperglycemia was defined as a blood glucose level greater than 180 mg/dl.
Setting: The study was conducted at the University of Colorado Hospital.
Patients: Sixty-one hospitalized patients with known type 1 or type 2 diabetes receiving i.v. insulin infusion participated in the study.
Main outcome: The primary outcome of this study was to compare the rates of rebound hyperglycemia between the control and the intervention groups after i.v. insulin infusion is discontinued.
Results: Overall, 29 subjects in the control group (93.5%) had at least one glucose value above 180 mg/dl during the 12-h follow-up period. This was significantly greater than the rate of rebound hyperglycemia in the intervention group (10 subjects or 33.3%, P < 0.001). The effect of the intervention was apparent in subjects who presented with diabetic ketoacidosis, after solid organ transplantation, and in patients with other surgical and medical diagnoses. There were three hypoglycemic measurements in two control subjects (68, 62, and 58 mg/dl) and none in the intervention group.
Conclusions: Once-daily s.c. insulin glargine administered during i.v. insulin infusion is a safe method for preventing future rebound hyperglycemia, without increased risk of hypoglycemia.