Background: Infection is the most common precipitating factor and cause of death in patients with hyperglycemic crises. Treating infection-precipitated hyperglycemic crises includes using empiric antibiotics early; correcting dehydration, hyperglycemia, and electrolyte imbalances; and frequent monitoring. Intensive care unit admission, broad-spectrum antibiotics, and even novel therapy for infection may be beneficial for patients with a high risk of mortality. However, these management options are costly and not beneficial for every patient. Selecting high-risk patients who would most likely benefit is more appropriate. We investigated the independent mortality predictors of patients with infection-precipitated hyperglycemic crises to facilitate clinical decision making.Methods: This study was conducted in a university-affiliated medical center. Consecutive adult patients (> 18 years old) visiting the Emergency Department between January 2004 and December 2010 were enrolled when they met the criteria of an infection-precipitated hyperglycemic crisis. Thirty-day mortality was the primary endpoint.Results: One hundred forty-two patients were enrolled. The infection source did not predict mortality. The presenting variables that were independently associated with 30-day mortality in a multiple logistic regression model were cancer history (odds ratio [OR], 7.4; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.4-23.2), bandemia (OR, 7.0; 95% CI, 1.6-30.3), and serum creatinine (OR, 1.4; 95% CI, 1.1-1.8). The common sources of infection were the lower respiratory tract (30.3%), urinary tract (49.3%), skin or soft tissue (12.0%), and intra-abdominal (6.3%).Conclusions: Cancer history, bandemia, and serum creatinine level are three independent mortality predictors for patients with infection-precipitated hyperglycemic crises. These predictors are both readily available and valuable for physicians making decisions about risk stratification, treatment, and disposition.
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