Intensive insulin therapy in severely burned pediatric patients: A Prospective randomized trial

Marc G. Jeschke, Gabriela A. Kulp, Robert Kraft, Celeste C. Finnerty, Ron Mlcak, Jong O. Lee, David N. Herndon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

124 Scopus citations


Rationale: Hyperglycemia and insulin resistance have been shown to increase morbidity and mortality in severely burned patients, and glycemic control appears essential to improve clinical outcomes. However, to date no prospective randomized study exists that determines whether intensive insulin therapy is associated with improved post-burn morbidity and mortality. Objectives: To determine whether intensive insulin therapy is associated with improved post-burn morbidity. Methods: Atotal of 239 severely burned pediatric patients with burns over greater than 30% of their total body surface area were randomized (block randomization 1:3) to intensive insulin treatment (n = 60) or control (n = 179). Measurements and Main Results: Demographics, clinical outcomes, sepsis, glucose metabolism, organ function, and inflammatory, acute-phase, and hypermetabolic responses were determined. Demographics were similar in both groups. Intensive insulin treatment significantly decreased the incidence of infections and sepsis compared with controls (P < 0.05). Furthermore, intensive insulin therapy improved organ function as indicated by improved serum markers, DENVER2 scores, and ultrasound (P < 0.05). Intensive insulin therapy alleviated post-burn insulin resistance and the vast catabolic response of the body (P < 0.05). Intensive insulin treatment dampened inflammatory and acute-phase responses by deceasing IL-6 and acute-phase proteins compared with controls (P < 0.05). Mortality was 4% in the intensive insulin therapy group and 11% in the control group (P = 0.14). Conclusions: In this prospective randomized clinical trial, we showed that intensive insulin therapy improves post-burn morbidity. Clinical trial registered with (NCT00673309).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)351-359
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2010



  • Burn
  • Insulin
  • Morbidity
  • Pediatric
  • Sepsis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

Cite this