, Volume 33, Issue 12, pp 2093-2100
Date: 11 Oct 2007

Strict versus moderate glucose control after resuscitation from ventricular fibrillation

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Elevated blood glucose is associated with poor outcome in patients resuscitated from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). Our aim was to determine whether strict glucose control with intensive insulin treatment improves outcome of OHCA patients.


A randomized, controlled trial.


Two university hospital intensive care units.


Ninety patients resuscitated from OHCA with ventricular fibrillation detected as the initial rhythm were treated with therapeutic hypothermia.


Patients were randomized into two treatment groups: a strict glucose control group (SGC group), with a blood glucose target of 4–6 mmol/l, or a moderate glucose control group (MGC group), with a blood glucose target of 6–8 mmol/l. Both groups were treated with insulin infusion for 48 h, because a control group with no treatment was considered unethical.

Measurements and results

Baseline data were similar in both groups. In the SGC group 71% of the glucose measurements were within the target range compared with 41% in the MGC group. Median glucose was 5.0 mmol/l in the SGC group and 6.4 mmol/l in the MGC group. The occurrence of moderate hypoglycemic episodes was 18% in the SGC group and 2% in the MGC group (p = 0.008). No episodes of severe hypoglycemia occurred. Mortality by day 30 was 33% in the SGC group and 35% in the MGC group (p = 0.846); the difference was 2% (95% CI –18% to +22%).


We found no additional survival benefit from strict glucose control compared with moderate glucose control with a target between 6 and 8 mmol/l in OHCA patients.

Descriptor: 21. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation