Continuous Perioperative Insulin Infusion Decreases Major Cardiovascular Events in Patients Undergoing Vascular Surgery Academic Article uri icon


  • A growing body of evidence suggests that hyperglycemia is an independent predictor of increased cardiovascular risk. Aggressive glycemic control in the intensive care decreases mortality. The benefit of glycemic control in noncardiac surgery is unknown. In a single-center, prospective, unblinded, active-control study, 236 patients were randomly assigned to continuous insulin infusion (target glucose 100-150 mg/dl) or to a standard intermittent insulin bolus (treat glucose > 150 mg/dl) in patients undergoing peripheral vascular bypass, abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, or below- or above-knee amputation. The treatments began at the start of surgery and continued for 48 h. The primary endpoint was a composite of all-cause death, myocardial infarction, and acute congestive heart failure. The secondary endpoints were blood glucose concentrations, rates of hypoglycemia (< 60 mg/dl) and hyperglycemia (> 150 mg/dl), graft failure or reintervention, wound infection, acute renal insufficiency, and duration of stay. The groups were well balanced for baseline characteristics, except for older age in the intervention group. There was a significant reduction in primary endpoint (3.5%) in the intervention group compared with the control group (12.3%) (relative risk, 0.29; 95% confidence interval, 0.10-0.83; P = 0.013). The secondary endpoints were similar. Hypoglycemia occurred in 8.8% of the intervention group compared with 4.1% of the control group (P = 0.14). Multivariate analysis demonstrated that continuous insulin infusion was a negative independent predictor (odds ratio, 0.28; 95% confidence interval, 0.09-0.87; P = 0.027), whereas previous coronary artery disease was a positive predictor of adverse events. Continuous insulin infusion reduces perioperative myocardial infarction after vascular surgery.

publication date

  • June 1, 2009