Author(s): Schwartz S, DeFronzo RA
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Abstract Significant data suggest that overt hyperglycemia, either observed with or without a prior diagnosis of diabetes, contributes to an increase in mortality and morbidity in hospitalized patients. In this regard, goal-directed insulin therapy has remained as the standard of care for achieving and maintaining glycemic control in hospitalized patients with critical and noncritical illness. As such, protocols to assist in the management of hyperglycemia in the inpatient setting have become commonplace in hospital settings. Clearly, insulin is a known entity, has been in clinical use for almost a century, and is effective. However, there are limitations to its use. Based on the observed mechanisms of action and efficacy, there has been a great interest in using incretin-based therapy with glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists instead of, or complementary to, an insulin-based approach to improve glycemic control in hospitalized, severely ill diabetic patients. To provide an understanding of both sides of the argument, we provide a discussion of this topic as part of this two-part point-counterpoint narrative. In this point narrative as presented below, Drs. Schwartz and DeFronzo provide an opinion that now is the time to consider GLP-1 receptor agonists as a logical consideration for inpatient glycemic control. It is important to note the recommendations they propose under "incretin-based approach" with these agents represent their opinion for use and, as they point out, well-designed prospective studies comparing these agents with insulin will be required to establish their efficacy and safety. In the counterpoint narrative following Drs. Schwartz and DeFronzo's contribution, Drs. Umpierrez and Korytkowski provide a defense of insulin in the inpatient setting as the unquestioned gold standard for glycemic management in hospitalized settings.
This article was published in Diabetes Care
and referenced in Journal of Steroids & Hormonal Science