Evaluation of Point-of-Care Blood Glucose Measurements in Patients with Diabetic Ketoacidosis or Hyperglycemic Hyperosmolar Syndrome Admitted to a Critical Care Unit

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Abstract

Background:

Point-of-care (POC) blood glucose (BG) measurement is currently not recommended in the treatment of patients presenting with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) or hyperglycemic hyperosmolar syndrome (HHS).

Methods:

We prospectively evaluated and compared capillary and venous POC BG values with laboratory venous glucose in patients with DKA or HHS admitted to one critical care unit over 8 months.

Results:

Venous laboratory glucose was strongly correlated with venous (r = 0.98) and capillary (r = 0.96) POC glucose values, though POC glucose values were higher than venous laboratory values (venous POC 21 ± 3 mg/dl, capillary POC 30 ± 4 mg/dl; both p < .001). Increased plasma osmolality had no effect on glucose meter error, while acidemia (pH < 7.3) was associated with greater glucose meter error (p = .04) independent of glucose levels. Comparing hypothetical insulin infusion rates based on laboratory venous glucose to actual infusion rates based on POC glucose values showed that 33/61 insulin infusion rates would have been unchanged, while 28 out of 61 rates were on average 7% ± 2% higher. There were no instances of hypoglycemia in any of the patients.

Conclusions:

Overall, both venous and capillary POC BG values were safe for the purpose of titrating insulin infusions in patients with severe hyperglycemia. Acidemia, but not hyperosmolality, increased POC BG value errors.

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