Blood pressure response to glucose potassium insulin therapy in patients with acute stroke with mild to moderate hyperglycaemia
- aSchool of Clinical Medical Sciences, University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK, bDepartment of Statistics, cCity Hospitals Sunderland NHS Trust, Sunderland, UK
- Professor C S Gray, University Department of Medicine for the Elderly, F Floor, Sunderland Royal Hospital, Kayll Road, Sunderland SR4 7TP, UK
- Received 12 June 2000
- Revised 6 November 2000
- Accepted 10 November 2000
Insulin is neuroprotective in animal stroke models but its effects in acute stroke in humans are unknown. The Glucose Insulin in Stroke Trial (GIST-UK) is a randomised controlled trial investigating the benefits of maintaining euglycaemia in hyperglycaemic patients with acute stroke. Data are reported from a GIST-UK substudy which sought to determine the influence of glucose potassium insulin (GKI) infusion on blood pressure in acute stroke. All adult patients admitted to hospital with acute stroke with hyperglycaemia (plasma glucose 6.1–17 mmol/l) were potentially eligible. Randomised patients received either a GKI infusion (500 ml 10% glucose, 20 mmol potassium chloride, 16 units of insulin) or control therapy with 154 mmol/l (0.9%) saline at 100 ml/h for 24 hours. BM test strip glucose monitoring was performed 2 hourly, blood pressure monitoring 4 hourly, and plasma glucose sampling 8 hourly. Insulin concentration in the GKI infusate was altered according to test strip values to maintain test strip values between 4–7 mmol/l in the GKI group. Neurological impairment was determined using the European stroke scale (ESS). 145 patients were studied (73 GKI, 72 control). Mean systolic blood pressure was significantly lower during GKI infusion between 4 hours and 24 hours except at 8 hours. Median total ESS scores improved significantly between admission and day 7 in the GKI group (p<0.001) although there was no significant difference in total ESS score between groups at day 7. The significant reduction of systolic blood pressure in acute stroke associated with GKI therapy was not associated with neurological deterioration and may have been beneficial.