Correlation between high blood IL-6 level, hyperglycemia, and glucose control in septic patients.
ABSTRACT INTRODUCTION: The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship between the blood IL-6 level, the blood glucose level, and glucose control in septic patients. METHODS: This retrospective observational study in a general ICU of a university hospital included a total of 153 patients with sepsis, severe sepsis, or septic shock who were admitted to the ICU between 2005 and 2010, stayed in the ICU for 7 days or longer, and did not receive steroid therapy prior to or after ICU admission. The severity of stress hyperglycemia, status of glucose control, and correlation between those two factors in these patients were investigated using the blood IL-6 level as an index of hypercytokinemia. RESULTS: A significant positive correlation between blood IL-6 level and blood glucose level on ICU admission was observed in the overall study population (n = 153; r = 0.24, P = 0.01), and was stronger in the nondiabetic subgroup (n = 112; r = 0.42, P < 0.01). The rate of successful glucose control (blood glucose level < 150 mg/dl maintained for 6 days or longer) decreased with increase in blood IL-6 level on ICU admission (P < 0.01). The blood IL-6 level after ICU admission remained significantly higher and the 60-day survival rate was significantly lower in the failed glucose control group than in the successful glucose control group (P < 0.01 and P < 0.01, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: High blood IL-6 level was correlated with hyperglycemia and with difficulties in glucose control in septic patients. These results suggest the possibility that hypercytokinemia might be involved in the development of hyperglycemia in sepsis, and thereby might affect the success of glucose control.