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J Hosp Med. 2011 May;6(5):279-84. doi: 10.1002/jhm.866.

Treatment of inpatient hyperglycemia beginning in the emergency department: a randomized trial using insulins aspart and detemir compared with usual care.

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Section of Endocrinology, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois, USA.



We examined the impact of an aspart insulin protocol for treatment of hyperglycemia in the emergency department (ED) coupled with rapid initiation of a detemir-aspart insulin protocol for patients admitted to the hospital.


ED patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and a blood glucose (BG) ≥ 200 mg/dL were randomized to intervention (INT) or usual care (UC). INT patients (n = 87) received aspart every 2 hours when BG > 200 mg/dL, and if admitted, began daily detemir in the ED. UC patients (n = 89) were treated per hospital physicians.


The initial ED BG was 304 ± 76 mg/dL. The final ED BG differed: 217 ± 71 mg/dL for INT patients versus 257 ± 89 mg/dL for UC patients (P < .01). No INT patients and 3 UC patients had a BG < 50 mg/dL (P = .5). ED length of stay (LOS) was similar: 5.4 ± 1.8 hours for INT patients versus 4.9 ± 1.9 hours for UC patients (P = .06). Sixty-nine percent from each group were admitted. Admission BG was 184 ± 74 mg/dL for INT patients versus 224 ± 93 mg/dL for UC patients (P < .01). Patient-day weighted mean glucose was 163 ± 39 mg/dL for INT patients versus 202 ± 39 mg/dL for UC patients (P < .01). One INT patient and 6 UC patients had a BG < 50 mg/dL (P = .11). Hospital LOS was similar: 2.7 ± 2.0 versus 3.1 ± 1.9 days, respectively (P = .58).


An aspart insulin protocol safely lowers BG levels in the ED without prolonging LOS. During hospitalization, a detemir-aspart protocol achieves significantly better glycemic control compared with guideline-driven use of NPH-aspart or glargine/detemir-aspart (usual care) without increasing hypoglycemia. Standardization of insulin protocols in the ED and hospital settings leads to improvement in overall glycemic control with greater safety and efficacy than usual care.


[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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