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Hyperglycemia in dogs and cats with head trauma: 122 cases (1997–1999)

Rebecca S. SyringSection of Critical Care, Department of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.

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Cynthia M. OttoSection of Critical Care, Department of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.

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Kenneth J. DrobatzSection of Critical Care, Department of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.

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Abstract

Objective—To determine whether hyperglycemia is associated with head trauma in dogs and cats and whether the degree of hyperglycemia corresponds to severity of neurologic injury or outcome.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—52 dogs and 70 cats with head trauma and 122 age- and species-matched control dogs and cats.

Procedure—Severity of head trauma was classified as mild, moderate, or severe. Blood glucose concentrations recorded within 1 hour after admission were compared between case and control animals and among groups when case animals were grouped on the basis of severity of head trauma or outcome.

Results—Blood glucose concentration was significantly associated with severity of head trauma in dogs and cats and was significantly higher in dogs and cats with head trauma than in the control animals. However, blood glucose concentration was not associated with outcome.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that dogs and cats with head trauma may have hyperglycemia and that degree of hyperglycemia was associated with severity of head trauma. However, degree of hyperglycemia was not associated with outcome for dogs and cats with head trauma. Because hyperglycemia can potentiate neurologic injury, iatrogenic hyperglycemia should be avoided in patients with head trauma. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;218:1124–1129)

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether hyperglycemia is associated with head trauma in dogs and cats and whether the degree of hyperglycemia corresponds to severity of neurologic injury or outcome.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—52 dogs and 70 cats with head trauma and 122 age- and species-matched control dogs and cats.

Procedure—Severity of head trauma was classified as mild, moderate, or severe. Blood glucose concentrations recorded within 1 hour after admission were compared between case and control animals and among groups when case animals were grouped on the basis of severity of head trauma or outcome.

Results—Blood glucose concentration was significantly associated with severity of head trauma in dogs and cats and was significantly higher in dogs and cats with head trauma than in the control animals. However, blood glucose concentration was not associated with outcome.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that dogs and cats with head trauma may have hyperglycemia and that degree of hyperglycemia was associated with severity of head trauma. However, degree of hyperglycemia was not associated with outcome for dogs and cats with head trauma. Because hyperglycemia can potentiate neurologic injury, iatrogenic hyperglycemia should be avoided in patients with head trauma. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;218:1124–1129)