Intermittent gastric feeds lower insulin requirements without worsening dysglycemia: A pilot randomized crossover trial
Tyson J Sjulin1, Richard J Strilka2, Nikhil A Huprikar1, Lisa A Cameron3, Parker W Woody4, Scott B Armen5
1 Department of Pulmonary Medicine, San Antonio Military Medical Center, San Antonio, TX, USA
2 Division of Trauma, Critical Care, and Acute Care Surgery, University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, USA
3 Department of Nutritional Medicine, San Antonio Military Medical Center, San Antonio, TX, USA
4 Department of Internal Medicine, San Antonio Military Medical Center, San Antonio, TX, USA
5 Division of Trauma, Acute Care and Critical Care Surgery, Pennsylvania State College of Medicine, Hershey, PA, USA
Dr. Richard J Strilka
Division of Trauma, Critical Care, and Acute Care Surgery, University of Cincinnati Medical Center, 231 Albert Sabin Way (ML 0558), Cincinnati, OH 45267
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Introduction: We hypothesized that critically ill medical patients would require less insulin when fed intermittently.
Methods: First, 26 patients were randomized to receive intermittent or continuous gastric feeds. Once at goal nutrition, data were collected for the first 4-hr data collection period. Next, the enteral feed type was switched, goal nutrition was repeated, and a second 4-h data collection period was completed. The primary endpoint was the total amount of insulin infused; secondary endpoints were glucose concentration mean, maximum, minimum, and standard deviation, as well as episodes of hypoglycemia.
Results: Sixteen of the 26 patients successfully completed the protocol. One patient experienced a large, rapid, and sustained decline in insulin requirement from liver failure, creating a bias of lesser insulin in the intermittent arm; this patient was removed from the analysis. For the remaining 15 patients, the average total amount of insulin infused was 1.4 U/patient/h less following intermittent feeds: P =0.027, 95% confidence interval (0.02, 11.17), and effect size 0.6. Secondary endpoints were statistically similar.
Conclusions: Critically ill medical patients who require an insulin infusion have a reduced insulin requirement when fed intermittently, whereas dysglycemia metrics are not adversely affected. A larger clinical study is required to confirm these findings.