What is the target glucose level in sepsis/septic shock?

Updated: Oct 07, 2020
  • Author: Andre Kalil, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Michael R Pinsky, MD, CM, Dr(HC), FCCP, FAPS, MCCM  more...
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A Belgian study of critically ill surgical ICU (SICU) patients found a 10% mortality benefit in those with tighter glycemic control—when the glucose levels were maintained between 80 and 110 mg/dL through intensive insulin therapy. [104] However, subsequent large, randomized studies did not replicate the results from the Belgian study [105, 106, 107] In fact, intensive insulin treatment has been shown to lead to increased episodes of hypoglycemia and increased mortality in ICU patients. [107, 108, 109, 110]

On the basis of the current evidence, the Surviving Sepsis Campaign guidelines recommend maintaining a glucose level below 180 mg/dL. [11]

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