Journal Article (Journal Article)

Objective: Perioperative glucocorticoids are commonly given to reduce pain and nausea in patients undergoing surgery. However, the glycemic effects of steroids and the potential effects on morbidity and mortality have not been systematically evaluated. This study investigated the association between perioperative dexamethasone and postoperative blood glucose, hospital length of stay (LOS), readmission rates, and 90-day survival. Methods: Data from 4,800 consecutive orthopedic surgery patients who underwent surgery between 2000 and 2016 within a single health system were analyzed retrospectively. Results: Patients with and without diabetes mellitus (DM) who were given a single dose of dexamethasone had higher rates of hyperglycemia during the first 24 hours after surgery as compared to those who did not receive dexamethasone (hazard ratio [HR] was 1.81, and 95% confidence interval [CI] was [1.46, 2.24] for the DM cohort; HR 2.34, 95% CI [1.66, 3.29] for the nonDM cohort). LOS was nearly 1 day shorter in patients who received dexamethasone (geometric mean ratio [GMR] 0.79, 95% CI [0.75, 0.83] for patients with DM; GMR 0.75, 95% CI [0.72, 0.79] for patients without DM), and there was no difference in 90-day readmission rates. In patients without DM, dexamethasone was associated with a higher 90-day overall survival (99.07% versus 96.90%; P = .004). Conclusion: In patients with and without DM who undergo orthopedic surgery, perioperative dexamethasone was associated with a transiently higher risk of hyperglycemia. However, dexamethasone treatment was associated with a shorter LOS in patients with and without DM, and a higher overall 90-day survival rate in patients without DM, compared to patients who did not receive dexamethasone. Abbreviations: BMI = body mass index; CAD = coronary artery disease; CI = confidence interval; DM = diabetes mellitus; GMR = geometric mean ratio; HR = hazard ratio; IV = intravenous; LOS = length of stay; POD = postoperative day.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Herbst, RA; Telford, OT; Hunting, J; Bullock, WM; Manning, E; Hong, BD; D'Alessio, DA; Setji, TL

Published Date

  • February 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 26 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 218 - 225

PubMed ID

  • 31652101

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1530-891X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.4158/EP-2019-0252


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States