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February 14, 1977

Insulin in the Management of the Diabetic Surgical Patient: Continuous Intravenous Infusion vs Subcutaneous Administration

JAMA. 1977;237(7):658-660. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270340044017

A prospective randomized study comparing constant intravenous infusion of regular, low-dose insulin versus conventional subcutaneous administration of neutral protein Hagedorn (NPH) insulin in insulin-requiring patients undergoing orthopedic procedures under general anesthesia was undertaken. The degree of diabetic control was better in those receiving constant 2 units/hour of regular insulin than in those receiving two thirds of daily maintenance doses of NPH insulin. However, in two of eight patients receiving 2 units/hour, decreased insulin infusion rates and increased dextrose infusion rates were required to avoid hypoglycemia. Preoperative NPH insulin and 1 unit/hour insulin administration resulted in equivalent diabetic control.

(JAMA 237:658-660, 1977)