Introduction: The aim of this study was to investigate the role of the insulin and glucose content of the maintenance fl uid in infl uencing the outcomes of pediatric patients undergoing heart surgery. Methods: A total of 2063 consecutive pediatric patients undergoing cardiac surgery were screened between 2003 and 2008. A dextrose and an insulin propensity-matched group were constructed. In the dextrose model, 5% and 10% dextrose maintenance infusions were compared below 20 kg of weight. Results: A total of 171 and 298 pairs of patients were matched in the insulin and glucose model, respectively. Mortality was lower in the insulin group (12.9% vs. 7%, p = 0.049). The insulin group had longer intensive care unit (ICU) stay [days, 10.9 (5.8-18.4) vs. 13.7 (8.2-21), p = 0.003], hospital stay [days, 19.8 (13.6-26.6) vs. 22.7 (17.6-29.7), p < 0.01], duration of mechanical ventilation [hours, 67 (19-140) vs. 107 (45-176), p = 0.006], and the incidence of severe infections (18.1% vs. 28.7%, p = 0.01) and dialysis (11.7% vs. 24%, p = 0.001) was higher. In the dextrose model, the incidence of pulmonary complications (13.09% vs. 22.5%, p < 0.01), low cardiac output (17.11% vs. 30.9%, p < 0.01), and severe infections (10.07% vs. 20.5%, p < 0.01) was higher, and the duration of the hospital stay [days, 16.4 (13.1-21.6) vs. 18.1 (13.84.6), p < 0.01] was longer in the 10% dextrose group. Conclusions: Insulin treatment appeared to decrease mortality, and lower glucose content was associated with lower occurrence of adverse events.
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