Usefulness of glycemic gap to predict ICU mortality in critically ill patients with diabetes

Wen I. Liao, Jen Chun Wang, Wei Chou Chang, Chin Wang Hsu, Chi Ming Chu, Shih Hung Tsai

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54 Citations (Scopus)


Stress-induced hyperglycemia (SIH) has been independently associated with an increased risk of mortality in critically ill patients without diabetes. However, it is also necessary to consider preexisting hyperglycemia when investigating the relationship between SIH and mortality in patients with diabetes. We therefore assessed whether the gap between admission glucose and A1C-derived average glucose (ADAG) levels could be a predictor of mortality in critically ill patients with diabetes. We retrospectively reviewed the Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II (APACHE-II) scores and clinical outcomes of patients with diabetes admitted to our medical intensive care unit (ICU) between 2011 and 2014. The glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels were converted to the ADAG by the equation, ADAG= [(28.7×HbA1c)-46.7]. We also used receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves to determine the optimal cut-off value for the glycemic gap when predicting ICU mortality and used the net reclassification improvement (NRI) to measure the improvement in prediction performance gained by adding the glycemic gap to the APACHE-II score. We enrolled 518 patients, of which 87 (17.0%) died during their ICU stay. Nonsurvivors had significantly higher APACHE-II scores and glycemic gaps than survivors (P<0.001). Critically ill patients with diabetes and a glycemic gap -80mg/dL had significantly higher ICU mortality and adverse outcomes than those with a glycemic gap <80mg/ dL (P<0.001). Incorporation of the glycemic gap into the APACHE-II score increased the discriminative performance for predicting ICU mortality by increasing the area under the ROC curve from 0.755 to 0.794 (NRI=13.6%, P=0.0013). The glycemic gap can be used to assess the severity and prognosis of critically ill patients with diabetes. The addition of the glycemic gap to the APACHE-II score significantly improved its ability to predict ICU mortality.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1525
JournalMedicine (United States)
Issue number36
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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