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Original Research

Open Access

The effect of blood glucose variability on the survival of patients in the intensive care unit: a prospective observational study

  • Ozgur Diyar Yavuz1
  • Asu Ozgultekin2,*,
  • Ferhunde Dilek Subasi2
  • Osman Ekinci2

1Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, Van Baskale State Hospital, 65600 Van, Turkey

2Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, Haydarpaşa Numune Training and Research Hospital

3 University of Health Sciences, 34674 Istanbul, Turkey

DOI: 10.22514/sv.2023.064 Vol.19,Issue 4,July 2023 pp.194-201

Submitted: 22 September 2022 Accepted: 30 December 2022

Published: 08 July 2023

*Corresponding Author(s): Asu Ozgultekin E-mail:


Although hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia are common in patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) and may negatively impact treatment outcomes, glycemic variability has recently gained attention as a promising risk factor in these patients. This study investigated the impact of hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia and glycemic variability on the outcomes of ICU patients. Daily blood glucose levels measured for the study participants were classified as within the reference range of 110–180 mg/dL or outside the reference range at <110 mg/dL or >180 mg/dL. Glycemic variability was classified as a fluctuation in daily blood glucose levels by >70 mg/dL. These measurements were standardized by dividing the number of daily blood glucose levels and glycemic variability outside the reference range by the number of daily levels within the reference range, which yielded the glycemic ratio (GR) and delta (∆)-glucose ratio (∆GR), respectively, and were compared between survivors and non-survivors. A total of 358 patients were prospectively assessed in this study. Our results showed that GR was 0.74 in survivors and 1.04 in non-survivors (p: 0.002), whereas ∆GR was 0.73 in survivors and 1.0 in non-survivors (p < 0.001). Additionally, the mortality rates were 54.4% and 30.6% for patients with an overall mean ∆glucose >70 mg/dL and <70 mg/dL (p < 0.001), respectively. Altogether, an increase in overall mean ∆glucose, ∆GR and GR resulted in an increased mortality risk in hypoglycemic and hyperglycemic ICU patients.


Blood glucose control; Glycemic variability; Hyperglycemia; Intensive care unit; Mortality

Cite and Share

Ozgur Diyar Yavuz,Asu Ozgultekin,Ferhunde Dilek Subasi,Osman Ekinci. The effect of blood glucose variability on the survival of patients in the intensive care unit: a prospective observational study. Signa Vitae. 2023. 19(4);194-201.


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