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

In a nutshell: Walnuts activate brain region involved in appetite control

August 17, 2017
Packed with nutrients linked to better health, walnuts are also thought to discourage overeating by promoting feelings of fullness. Now, in a new brain imaging study, researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) ...

Smart mat detects early warning signs of foot ulcers

August 16, 2017
While completing his residency in anesthesiology at Massachusetts General Hospital in the mid-2000s, Jon Bloom saw his fair share of foot amputations among patients with diabetes. The culprit: infected foot ulcers.

The best place to treat type 1 diabetes might be just under your skin

August 14, 2017
A group of U of T researchers have demonstrated that the space under our skin might be an optimal location to treat type 1 diabetes (T1D).

New measure of insulin-making cells could gauge diabetes progression, treatment

August 10, 2017
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have developed a new measurement for the volume and activity of beta cells, the source of the sugar-regulating hormone insulin.

Pioneering immunotherapy shows promise in type 1 diabetes

August 9, 2017
It may be possible to 'retrain' the immune system to slow the progression of type 1 diabetes, according to results of a clinical trial published today in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Online team-based game helps patients with diabetes lower blood glucose

August 8, 2017
Researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System have found that an online, team-based game designed to teach patients about diabetes self-management had a sustained and meaningful ...

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.