European Journal of Anaesthesiology

FEAA Review Article
(RD) Surgery

Perioperative care of diabetic patients

P. A. Scherpereel a1 and B. Tavernier a1c1
a1 Department of Anaesthesia, Lille University Hospital, Lille, France

Article author query
scherpereel pa   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
tavernier b   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


Diabetes mellitus is the most common metabolic disease and its incidence is increasing. New classifications have been recently proposed based upon a better knowledge of pathogenesis, mechanisms of glucose transport and insulin resistance. The perioperative care of diabetic patients is less dependent on blood-glucose control, which needs to be exceptionally tight, and is usually easily obtained thanks to pharmacological improvements, human insulins and analogues, technical progress with blood-glucose monitoring at the bedside and infusion with constant flow rates. More important is the influence of end-organ pathology, often clinically silent, which must be carefully assessed during the preoperative evaluation. The organ impairments concern especially the heart, but also all those organs that were modified by abnormal glycosylated proteins. The pre-existing pathology has many consequences on anaesthesia management; the anaesthetic technique depends essentially on their existence. A better long-term control of diabetes both for Type 1 and Type 2 by insulins, and the new oral anti-diabetic drugs reduce the incidence of the end-organ pathology and the risk linked to organ failures in the perioperative period.

(Published Online August 16 2006)

Key Words: anaesthesia; autonomic nervous system diseases; metabolic diseases; diabetes mellitus; pancreatic hormones; insulin; pathological processes; multiple organ failure.

c1 Correspondence: P. Scherpereel, Departement d'Anesthésie Réanimation, Hôpital Claude Huriez, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire, 59037 Lille, France.