Clinics (Sao Paulo). 2010 August; 65(8): 769-773.

Copyright © 2010 Hospital das Clínicas da FMUSP

Impact of glycemic control on the incidence of acute kidney injury in critically ill patients: a comparison of two strategies using the RIFLE criteria

José Raimundo Araújo de Azevedo , Renato Palácio de Azevedo , Lara Carneiro de Lucena , Nathalia de Nazaré Rabelo da Costa , Widlane Sousa da Silva

Intensive Care Units of São Domingos Hospital and Dr. Clementino Moura Hospital - São Luis/MA,Brazil

E-mail: Tel.: 55 98 3227 5735

received February 5, 2010; revised March 29, 2010; accepted May 10, 2010.



To compare the renal outcome in patients submitted to two different regimens of glycemic control, using the RIFLE criteria to define acute kidney injury.


The impact of intensive insulin therapy on renal function outcome is controversial. The lack of a criterion for AKI definition may play a role on that.


Included as the subjects were 228 randomly selected, critically ill patients engaged in intensive insulin therapy or in a carbohydrate-restrictive strategy. Renal outcome was evaluated through the comparison of the last RIFLE score obtained during the ICU stay and the RIFLE score at admission; the outcome was classified as favorable, stable or unfavorable.


The two groups were comparable regarding demographic data. AKI developed in 52% of the patients and was associated with a higher mortality (39.4%) compared with those who did not have AKI (8.2%) (p<0.001). Renal function outcome was comparable between the two groups (p = 0.37). We observed a significant correlation between blood glucose levels and the incidence of acute kidney injury (p = 0.007). In the multivariate logistic regression analysis, only APACHE III scores higher than 60 were identified as an independent risk factor for unfavorable renal outcome. APACHE III scores>60, acute kidney injury and hypoglycemia were risk factors for mortality.


Intensive insulin therapy and a carbohydrate-restrictive strategy were comparable regarding the incidence of acute kidney injury evaluated using RIFLE criteria.

Keywords: Critical illness, Insulin, Hypoglycemia, Renal failure, Glycemic control

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