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November 1972

Postoperative Glucose Metabolism in Diabetic and Nondiabetic Patients: The Response of Glucose, Insulin, Growth Hormone, Corticosteroids, Epinephrine, and Unesterified Fatty Acids to Extremity Surgery

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis.

Arch Surg. 1972;105(5):741-745. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1972.04180110064016

A study of postoperative glucose metabolism in eight diabetic and 23 nondiabetic patients undergoing operations on the lower extremity showed the following changes: elevated fasting levels of glucose and unesterified fatty acids, most marked two days after surgery; one hour after dextrose ingestion the blood glucose level in diabetics was below preoperative levels while in the nondiabetics it was elevated. Both diabetics and nondiabetics showed a delayed fall of the blood glucose to fasting levels. Postoperative insulin concentrations were elevated in nondiabetic and suppressed in diabetic patients. Both 17-hydroxycorticosteroid and growth hormone levels were elevated in the postoperative period. It is possible that they influenced the observed changes in glucose metabolism.

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