Determining optimal threshold for glucose control in organ donors after neurologic determination of death: A United Network for Organ Sharing Region 5 Donor Management Goals Workgroup prospective analysis

Mitchell B. Sally, Tyler Ewing, Megan Crutchfield, Madhukar S. Patel, Shariq Raza, Salvador De La Cruz, John Zatarain, Darren Jay Malinoski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: The appropriate level of glucose control in organ donors after neurologic determination of death (DNDD) remains uncertain. We hypothesized that a glucose target of 180 mg/dL would be appropriate for optimizing organ transplantation rates and outcomes. METHODS: Demographic, critical care, organ transplantation, and graft outcome datawere prospectively collected on all DNDDs in United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) Region 5 from 2010 to 2012. Glucose levelswere assessed at four time points in the organ donation process. The primary outcome measure was having four or more organs transplanted per donor (OTPD). Univariate analyses were conducted to determine the relationship between glucose levels and OTPD, organ transplantation rates, and graft function. Multivariate analyses were performed to determine independent predictors of four or more OTPDs. Glucose levels were analyzed at the following cutoff points: 150 or less, 180, and 200 mg/dL. Results with a p > 0.05 are listed. RESULTS: A total of 1,611 DNDDs had a mean (SD) age of 38 (17) years and 3.4 (1.7) OTPDs. Forty-one percent had four or more OTPDs. Glucose levels of 150 mg/dL or less were not associated with differences in organ use. Levels of 180 mg/dL or less were associated with more OTPDs (3.5 vs. 3.2), a higher rate of four or more OTPDs (42% vs. 34%), and more heart (34% vs. 28%), pancreas (18% vs. 11%), and kidney (85% vs. 81%) use. Levels of 200 mg/dL or less revealed similar results. However, only a level of 180 mg/dL or less was an independent predictor of four or more OTPDs (odds ratio, 1.4). All three levels were associated with higher kidney graft survival after a mean (SD) of 10 (6.0) months of follow-up (97% vs. 95%). CONCLUSION: Hyperglycemia is common in DNDDs and is associated with lower organ transplantation rates and worse graft outcomes. Targeting a glucose level of 180 mg/dL or less seems to preserve outcomes and is consistent with general critical care guidelines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)62-69
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014



  • Donor management goals; Hyperglycemia; Transplant graft outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

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