Papers And Originals

Treatment of Severe Diabetes Mellitus by Insulin Infusion

Br Med J 1974; 2 doi: (Published 29 June 1974) Cite this as: Br Med J 1974;2:691
  1. Warren Kidson,
  2. John Casey,
  3. Edward Kraegen,
  4. Leslie Lazarus


    A new and simple form of insulin therapy for diabetic hyperglycaemia and ketoacidosis has been developed using a continuous intravenous infusion of insulin at a rate of 2·4 U/hr to maintain serum insulin concentration at physiological levels. This rate raises the mean serum insulin to 83 μU/ml and has a therapeutic effect which is not augmented by higher infusion rates. The response to such low doses of insulin indicates a need for a reappraisal of currently held theories about insulin resistance in diabetic ketoacidosis. In 11 diabetic patients with a mean plasma glucose of 514 mg/100 ml this therapy produced continuous falls in plasma glucose at a mean rate of 75 mg/100 ml/hr, and 10 out of 11 patients recovered within eight hours. This form of therapy is simple to institute, not complicated by hypoglycaemia, and avoids the confusion and empiricism of previously described forms of therapy.