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Effect of intensive insulin therapy on the somatotropic axis of critically ill children.

Author(s): Gielen M, Mesotten D, Brugts M, Coopmans W, Van Herck E, Vanhorebeek I, Baxter R, Lamberts S, Janssen JA, Van den Berghe G

Affiliation(s): Department and Laboratory of Intensive Care Medicine, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium.

Publication date & source: 2011-08, J Clin Endocrinol Metab., 96(8):2558-66. Epub 2011 Jun 1.

Publication type: Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

CONTEXT: Intensive insulin therapy (IIT) improved outcome in the adult and pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) compared with conventional insulin therapy (CIT). IIT did not increase the anabolic hormone IGF-I in critically ill adults, but feeding in critically ill children and pediatric hormonal responses may differ. Twenty-five percent of the children with IIT experienced hypoglycemia, which may have evoked counterregulatory responses. OBJECTIVE: We hypothesized that IIT reactivates the somatotropic axis and anabolism in PICU patients. DESIGN: This was a preplanned subanalysis of a randomized controlled trial on IIT. PATIENTS: We studied 369 patients who stayed in PICU for at least 3 d (study 1) and 126 patients in a nested case-control study (study 2). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Circulating insulin, C-peptide, GH, IGF-I, bioavailable IGF-I, IGF-binding protein (IGFBP)-1, IGFBP-3, and acid-labile subunit were analyzed upon admission and d 3. In the nested case-control study, the somatotropic axis, cortisol, and glucagon were analyzed before and after hypoglycemia. RESULTS: On d 3, C-peptide was more than 10-fold lower (P < 0.0001) in the IIT group than in the CIT group. IIT increased circulating GH (P = 0.04) and lowered bioavailable IGF-I (P = 0.002). IIT also decreased IGFBP-3 (P = 0.0005) and acid-labile subunit (P = 0.007), while increasing IGFBP-1 (P = 0.04) and the urea/creatinine ratio, a marker of catabolism (P = 0.03). In the nested case-control study, IGFBP-1 was increased after hypoglycemia, whereas the somatotropic axis and the counterregulatory hormones cortisol and glucagon did not change. CONCLUSIONS: Despite improved PICU outcome, IIT did not counteract the catabolic state of critical illness. Suppression of portal insulin may have resulted in lower bioavailable IGF-I.

Page last updated: 2011-12-09

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