, Volume 40, Issue 6, pp 855-862
Date: 25 Mar 2014

Blood glucose level and outcome after cardiac arrest: insights from a large registry in the hypothermia era

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The influence of blood glucose (BG) level during the post-resuscitation period after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) is still debated. To evaluate the relationship between blood glucose level and outcome, we included the median glycemia and its maximal amplitude over the first 48 h following ICU admission in an analysis of outcome predictors.


We conducted a database study in a cardiac arrest center in Paris, France. Between 2006 and 2010, we included 381 patients who were all resuscitated from an OHCA. A moderate glycemic control was applied in all patients. The median glycemia and the largest change over the first 48 h were included in a multivariate analysis that was performed to determine parameters associated with a favorable outcome.


Of the 381 patients, 136 (36 %) had a favorable outcome (CPC 1–2). Median BG level was 7.6 mmol/L (6.3–9.8) in patients with a favorable outcome compared to 9.0 mmol/L (IQR 7.1–10.6) for patients with an unfavorable outcome (p < 0.01). Median BG level variation was 7.1 (4.2–11) and 9.6 (5.9–13.6) mmol/L in patients with and without a favorable outcome, respectively (p < 0.01). In multivariate analysis, an increased median BG level over the first 48 h was found to be an independent predictor of poor issue [OR = 0.43; 95 % CI (0.24–0.78), p = 0.006]. Finally a progressive increase in median BG level was associated with a progressive increase in the proportion of patients with a poor outcome.


We observed a relationship between high blood glucose level and outcome after cardiac arrest. These results suggest the need to test a strategy combining both control of glycemia and minimization of glycemic variations for its ability to improve post-resuscitation care.

Take-home message: The role of glycemia during the post-resuscitation period in cardiac arrest patients is unknown. In this study we found that a high level of glycemia during the first 48 h following a cardiac arrest was associated with a poor outcome.