Retrospective Evaluation of Glycemic Control With Basal-Bolus or Neutral Protamine Hagedorn Insulin Regimens in Patients Receiving Continuous Enteral Nutrition Therapy in Medicine Wards

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Reasonable glycemic control is difficult to achieve in patients with diabetes mellitus (DM) receiving continuous enteral nutrition therapy (CENT). There are no solid evidence-based medicine guidelines regarding this issue in these patients. The purpose of this study was to determine if the use of a basal-bolus insulin regimen is more effective than neutral protamine Hagedorn (NPH) insulin alone in controlling blood glucose in non–critically ill patients with DM receiving CENT. We performed a retrospective, records-based review comparing basal-bolus with NPH insulin regimen in these patients, hospitalized in the internal medicine wards in our hospital. Number of hypoglycemic episodes, mean blood glucose, and time-to-target (time needed to reach 3 successive glucose readings in the appropriate target of 140–180 mg/dL) were evaluated in each regimen. Mean blood glucose was 199.22 mg/dL (95% confidence interval [CI], 179.8–218.5 mg/dL) in the basal-bolus vs 190.73 mg/dL (95% CI, 172.1–209.2 mg/dL) in the NPH insulin regimen (P = .538). Time-to-target was an average of 3.65 ± 1.75 days in the basal-bolus group and 4.33 ± 2.42 days in the NPH group (P = .364). There were no statistically significant differences in frequency of hypoglycemia (P = .364). Rate of death was high (around 40%) in both groups. We conclude that hospitalized hyperglycemic patients receiving CENT can be treated by either basal-bolus or NPH insulin regimens. However, the overall glucose levels remain elevated during hospitalization irrespective of the insulin therapy. There is an urgent need to define glucose targets in this population of patients and to evaluate prospectively head-to-head different insulin protocols.

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