Society of Critical Care Medicine Guidelines on Glycemic Control for Critically Ill Children and Adults 2024

Crit Care Med. 2024 Apr 1;52(4):e161-e181. doi: 10.1097/CCM.0000000000006174. Epub 2024 Jan 19.


Rationale: Maintaining glycemic control of critically ill patients may impact outcomes such as survival, infection, and neuromuscular recovery, but there is equipoise on the target blood levels, monitoring frequency, and methods.

Objectives: The purpose was to update the 2012 Society of Critical Care Medicine and American College of Critical Care Medicine (ACCM) guidelines with a new systematic review of the literature and provide actionable guidance for clinicians.

Panel design: The total multiprofessional task force of 22, consisting of clinicians and patient/family advocates, and a methodologist applied the processes described in the ACCM guidelines standard operating procedure manual to develop evidence-based recommendations in alignment with the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation Approach (GRADE) methodology. Conflict of interest policies were strictly followed in all phases of the guidelines, including panel selection and voting.

Methods: We conducted a systematic review for each Population, Intervention, Comparator, and Outcomes question related to glycemic management in critically ill children (≥ 42 wk old adjusted gestational age to 18 yr old) and adults, including triggers for initiation of insulin therapy, route of administration, monitoring frequency, role of an explicit decision support tool for protocol maintenance, and methodology for glucose testing. We identified the best available evidence, statistically summarized the evidence, and then assessed the quality of evidence using the GRADE approach. We used the evidence-to-decision framework to formulate recommendations as strong or weak or as a good practice statement. In addition, "In our practice" statements were included when the available evidence was insufficient to support a recommendation, but the panel felt that describing their practice patterns may be appropriate. Additional topics were identified for future research.

Results: This guideline is an update of the guidelines for the use of an insulin infusion for the management of hyperglycemia in critically ill patients. It is intended for adult and pediatric practitioners to reassess current practices and direct research into areas with inadequate literature. The panel issued seven statements related to glycemic control in unselected adults (two good practice statements, four conditional recommendations, one research statement) and seven statements for pediatric patients (two good practice statements, one strong recommendation, one conditional recommendation, two "In our practice" statements, and one research statement), with additional detail on specific subset populations where available.

Conclusions: The guidelines panel achieved consensus for adults and children regarding a preference for an insulin infusion for the acute management of hyperglycemia with titration guided by an explicit clinical decision support tool and frequent (≤ 1 hr) monitoring intervals during glycemic instability to minimize hypoglycemia and against targeting intensive glucose levels. These recommendations are intended for consideration within the framework of the patient's existing clinical status. Further research is required to evaluate the role of individualized glycemic targets, continuous glucose monitoring systems, explicit decision support tools, and standardized glycemic control metrics.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose
  • Blood Glucose Self-Monitoring
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Critical Care
  • Critical Illness / therapy
  • Glycemic Control*
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia* / drug therapy
  • Infant
  • Insulin / therapeutic use


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin