Intensive Care Medicine

, Volume 41, Issue 6, pp 1037–1047 | Cite as

Intensive versus conventional glucose control in critically ill patients with traumatic brain injury: long-term follow-up of a subgroup of patients from the NICE-SUGAR study

  • The NICE-SUGAR Study Investigators for the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society Clinical Trials Group and the Canadian Critical Care Trials GroupEmail author



To compare the effect of intensive versus conventional blood glucose control in patients with traumatic brain injury.


In a large international randomized trial patients were randomly assigned to a target blood glucose (BG) range of either 4.5–6.0 mmol/L (intensive control) or <10 mmol/L (conventional control). Patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) were identified at randomization and data were collected to examine the extended Glasgow outcome score (includes mortality) at 24 months.


Of the 6104 randomized patients, 391 satisfied diagnostic criteria for TBI; 203 (51.9 %) were assigned to intensive and 188 (48.1 %) to conventional control; the primary outcome was available for 166 (81.8 %) and 149 (79.3 %) patients, respectively. The two groups had

similar baseline characteristics. At 2 years 98 (58.7 %) patients in the intensive group and 79 (53.0 %) in the conventional group had a favorable neurological outcome (odds ratio [OR] 1.26, 95 % CI 0.81–1.97; P = 0.3); 35 patients (20.9 %) in the intensive group and 34 (22.8 %) in the conventional group had died (OR 0.90, 95 % CI 0.53–1.53; P = 0.7); moderate hypoglycemia (BG 2.3–3.9 mmol/L; 41–70 mg/dL) occurred in 160/202 (79.2 %) and 17/188 (9.0 %), respectively (OR 38.3, 95 % CI 21.0–70.1; P < 0.0001); severe hypoglycemia (BG ≤ 2.2 mmol/L; ≤40 mg/dL) in 10 (4.9 %) and 0 (0.0 %), respectively (OR 20.5 95 % CI 1.2–351.6, P = 0.003).


Although patients with traumatic brain injury randomly assigned to intensive compared to conventional glucose control experienced moderate and severe hypoglycemia more frequently, we found no significant difference in clinically important outcomes.


Brain injury Blood glucose Hypoglycemia Treatment outcome Randomized trial 



Australian National Health and Medical Research Council; Health Research Council of New Zealand; Canadian Institutes for Health Research; Victorian Neurotrauma Initiative.

Conflicts of interest

None of the members of the writing committee have conflicts of interest in respect of this manuscript.

Supplementary material

134_2015_3757_MOESM1_ESM.doc (510 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 509 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg and ESICM 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • The NICE-SUGAR Study Investigators for the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society Clinical Trials Group and the Canadian Critical Care Trials Group
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Critical Care and TraumaThe George Institute for Global HealthSydneyAustralia

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