Objectives: This study aimed to assess the prognostic significance of blood glucose levels and blood glucose alterations (i.e. hyper- or hypoglycaemia) among patients with aluminium phosphide (AlP) poisoning.
Methods: This prospective observational study was conducted at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh, India, between January 2010 and June 2011. All patients presenting to the emergency department with a definitive history of AlP ingestion or symptoms compatible with AlP poisoning were included in the study. Blood glucose levels were recorded at presentation and every six hours thereafter. Alterations in blood glucose levels and other clinical and laboratory variables were subsequently compared between survivors and non-survivors.
Results: A total of 116 patients with AlP poisoning were identified. Of these, 57 patients (49%) survived and 59 patients (51%) died. At presentation, the mean blood glucose levels of survivors and non-survivors were 119.9 ± 35.7 mg/dL and 159.7 ± 92.5 mg/dL, respectively (P <0.001). In comparison to the survivors, non-survivors had significantly higher heart rates, total leukocyte counts, blood glucose level alterations and serum creatinine levels (P <0.050). In addition, systolic blood pressure, Glasgow coma scale scores, arterial blood gas pH and bicarbonate values and duration of hospital stay was significantly lower compared to survivors (P <0.001). However, neither blood glucose levels at admission nor blood glucose alterations correlated independently with mortality in a multivariate analysis.
Conclusion: The role of blood glucose level alterations in predicting patient outcomes in AlP poisoning cases remains inconclusive. Further studies with larger sample sizes are required.
Keywords: Aluminum Phosphide; Blood Glucose; Hyperglycemia; Hypoglycemia; India; Mortality; Poisoning; Prognostic Factors.