A Retrospective Study of Early vs Delayed Home Dose Basal Insulin in the Acute Management of Diabetic Ketoacidosis

J Endocr Soc. 2019 Apr 11;3(5):1079-1086. doi: 10.1210/js.2018-00400. eCollection 2019 May 1.


Background: Insulin via continuous intravenous infusion (ICII) is a standard of care for treating patients with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). Once DKA is resolved, ICII is transitioned to subcutaneous therapy. However, recent guidelines recommend continuation of home dose subcutaneous basal insulin (HDBI) in patients with DKA. The objective of this study was to evaluate outcomes in patients who received early vs delayed HDBI.

Methods: This is a retrospective cohort study of patients ≥16 years old admitted to the medical intensive care unit between 1 July 2012 and 30 June 2015 with a primary diagnosis of DKA who received ICII and HDBI. Patients were stratified into early or delayed groups if they received HDBI before or after resolution of DKA, respectively. The primary outcome was incidence of transitional failure, defined as resumption of ICII or recurrence of DKA after initial ICII discontinuation.

Results: A total of 106 admissions were included for analysis; 33 (31.1%) received early HDBI. The incidence of transitional failure was similar between the early and delayed groups (OR, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.26 to 1.44; P = 0.72). In the early group, ICII duration was shorter at 13.8 hours [interquartile range (IQR), 10.1 to 16.5] vs 17.1 hours (IQR, 12.6 to 21.1; P = 0.04), with a trend toward lower rates of hypoglycemia (OR, 0.41; 95% CI, 0.16 to 1.05; P = 0.058).

Conclusion: There was no significant difference in incidence of transitional failure between early and delayed HDBI. Early HDBI was associated with a shorter duration of ICII and a trend toward less hypoglycemia. A prospective analysis is needed to confirm these findings.

Keywords: detemir; diabetes; diabetic ketoacidosis; glargine; insulin; isophane.