Computer program aids blood-sugar control among critically ill

June 25, 2012

A computer-software program more effectively controlled blood-sugar levels among critically ill patients than nurse-directed care did, according to the first large clinical trial of its kind. The results to be presented at The Endocrine Society's 94th Annual Meeting in Houston.

The computer program, known as LOGIC-Insulin, was designed to assist healthcare providers in closely controlling patients' blood sugar, or glucose, with the . While is effective, it can be extremely difficult to determine the correct dosage. Excessive amounts of the hormone can cause blood sugar to drop to dangerously low levels, which can cause a serious condition called . If left untreated, hypoglycemia can result in , and even death.

Although typically is associated with diabetes, it is also a common complication among the critically ill. When it occurs among these patients, who usually have normal levels, it is called the "diabetes of injury."

In this study, both groups of patients had similar average blood-sugar levels, but those in the LOGIC-Insulin group scored better on specific measures. For example, patients in this group were less likely to develop the critically low levels that are associated with hypoglycemia. They also spent more time in the study's targeted level of 80-110 mg/dL, and exhibited a smaller difference between minimum and maximum blood-sugar readings on a daily basis, indicating less blood-glucose variability.

"Computer-directed algorithms, such as LOGIC-Insulin, that are approved by experts and clinically validated in large studies, will allow safe and effective blood-glucose control," said study director Dieter Mesotten, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor at KU Leuven (Catholic University Leuven) in Belgium. "This is essential to improve the outcome of critically ill patients in general practice."

Mesotten and his co-investigators randomly assigned 300 critically ill patients to one of two therapy groups. One group received blood-sugar control determined by a team of expert nurses, while the other received treatment based on the LOGIC-Insulin computer program.

The average length of treatment in the single-center study was three days. The study was single-blinded, which means that patients did not know which intervention they were receiving. The primary outcome measure was blood-sugar control up to 14 days after study enrollment.

Patients' average age was 63, one-fifth had diabetes, and 60 percent were male. All patients had been admitted to the intensive care unit, either after undergoing heart or other surgery, or due to other serious medical complications.

According to Mesotten, the study results demonstrate the value of computer-assisted technology in controlling injury-related diabetes.

"The LOGIC-1 study is the first large, randomized, controlled clinical trial that has shown an improved blood-glucose control in comparison with expert nurses, " Mesotten said. "LOGIC-Insulin software improves the efficacy and safety of blood-glucose control in a wide variety of critically ill patients, which may improve their outcome."

Explore further: Experimental insulin drug prevents low blood sugar

Related Stories

Experimental insulin drug prevents low blood sugar

June 25, 2012
An experimental insulin drug prevented low blood sugar among diabetic patients more often than a popular drug on the market, a new study finds. The results will be presented at The Endocrine Society's 94th Annual Meeting ...

Which diabetes drug is best for diabetics with kidney disease?

November 13, 2011
Some blood-sugar-lowering drugs have caused kidney problems in patients with type 2 diabetes, so physicians are especially cautious when prescribing these agents to diabetics who also have chronic kidney disease (CKD).

Recommended for you

Insulin pill may delay type 1 diabetes in some

November 21, 2017
(HealthDay)—It's often said that timing is everything. New research suggests this may be true when giving an insulin pill to try to prevent or delay type 1 diabetes.

Controlling diabetes with your phone might be possible someday

November 21, 2017
Think about this. You have diabetes, are trying to control your insulin levels and instead of taking a pill or giving yourself an injection, you click an app on your phone that tells your pancreas to bring blood sugar levels ...

Simple test predicts diabetes remission following weight loss surgery

November 21, 2017
A new simple test that helps predicts which people with type 2 diabetes will benefit most from weight loss surgery has been developed by a UCL-led team.

Pre-diabetes discovery marks step towards precision medicine

November 20, 2017
Researchers from the University of Sydney's Charles Perkins Centre have identified three specific molecules that accurately indicate insulin resistance, or pre-diabetes - a major predictor of metabolic syndrome, the collection ...

Scientists reverse diabetes in a mouse model using modified blood stem cells

November 15, 2017
Researchers at Boston Children's Hospital have successfully reversed type 1 diabetes in a mouse model by infusing blood stem cells pre-treated to produce more of a protein called PD-L1, which is deficient in mice (and people) ...

Pregnancy-related conditions taken together leave moms—and dads—at risk

November 14, 2017
Research has already shown that women who develop either diabetes or high blood pressure during pregnancy are at risk of getting type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease years later. Now, a new study from a team ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.