A comparison of continuous intravenous insulin and subcutaneous insulin among patients with type 2 diabetes and congestive heart failure exacerbation

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The study aims to determine whether the route of insulin administration influences glycaemic variability and inflammatory or neurohormonal markers in patients with type 2 diabetes and congestive heart failure (CHF) exacerbation.


Patients (n = 65) were randomized to intravenous (IV) insulin (duration 48 h) or subcutaneous (SQ) insulin. Inflammatory cytokines and markers of lipid oxidation, high-frequency heart rate variability (n = 27) and cardiac impedance (pre-ejection period, n = 28) were used to estimate parasympathetic and sympathetic tone in patients with valid cardiac data. Glycaemic variability was measured using a continuous glucose monitor.


Mean glucose was lower (7.7 ± 1.2 vs 9.4 ± 2.7 mmol/L, p = 0.004), coefficient of variation was higher (p = 0.03) and glycaemic lability index was similar on day 1 in the IV group compared with the SQ group, but groups were similar by day 2. The IV group had more confirmed hypoglycaemia (p = 0.005). There were no differences in hospital readmission or hospital length of stay between groups. There were no differences in CHF biomarkers, heart rate variability or pre-ejection period between groups. Increasing log glycaemic lability index was associated with lower on-treatment pre-ejection period (p = 0.03) while increasing coefficient of variation was associated with increasing brain natriuretic peptide (p = 0.004) and paroxonase-1 (p = 0.02). Other univariable analyses were not significant.


There were modest, transient differences in glucose control between IV and SQ insulin in hospitalized CHF patients. However, the analyses do not support a link between insulin route and inflammatory markers or autonomic tone. Further study is needed to assess outcomes in hospitalized CHF patients. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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