Glycemic control reduces infections in post-liver transplant patients: Results of a prospective, randomized study

Amisha Wallia*, Kathleen Schmidt, Diana Johnson Oakes, Teresa Pollack, Nicholas Welsh, Susan Kling-Colson, Suruchi Gupta, Candice Fulkerson, Grazia Aleppo, Neehar Parikh, Josh Levitsky, J. P. Norvell, Alfred Rademaker, Mark E. Molitch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Context: Previous studies have shown a relationship between glycemic control and posttransplant morbidity. Objective: We conducted a prospective randomized controlled trial in postliver transplant patients to evaluate intensive inpatient glycemic control and effects on outcomes to 1 year. Research Design and Intervention: A total of 164 patients [blood glucose (BG) >180 mg/dL] were randomized into 2 target groups: 82 with a BG of 140 mg/dL and 82 with a BG of 180 mg/dL. Continuous insulin infusions were initiated and then converted to subcutaneous basal bolus insulin therapy by our glucose management service. Results: The inpatient mean BG level was significantly different (140 group, 151.4 ± 19.5 mg/dL vs 180 group, 172.6 ± 27.9 mg/dL; P < 0.001). Any infection within 1 year occurred in 35 of the 82 patients (42.7%) in the 140 group and 54 of 82 (65.9%) in the 180 group (P = 0.0046). In a time-tofirst infection analysis, being in the 140 group resulted in a hazard ratio of 0.54 (95% confidence interval, 0.35 to 0.83; P = 0.004); the difference between the 2 groups was statistically significant at 1 month (P = 0.008). The number with adjudicated transplant rejection was similar between the 2 groups [17 of 82 (20.7%) and 20 of 82 (24.3%) in the 140 and 180 groups, respectively; P = not significant]. Severe hypoglycemia (BG≤40 mg/dL) occurred in 3 patients (2 in the 140 group and 1 in the 180 group). However, more patients had moderate hypoglycemia (BG, 41 to 70 mg/dL) in the 140 group [27 of 82 (32.9%) vs 10 of 82 (12.2%) in the 180 group; P = 0.003]. Insulin-related hypoglycemia was not associated with the incidence of severe adverse outcomes. Conclusions: Glycemic control of 140 mg/dL safely resulted in a reduced incidence of infection after transplantation compared with 180 mg/dL, but with an increase in moderate hypoglycemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)451-459
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Endocrinology
  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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