Consensus Guidelines Address Inpatient Diabetes Technology

A new consensus statement offers detailed guidelines for inpatient use of continuous glucose monitors (CGM) and automated insulin delivery (AID) systems.

Aimed at clinicians, researchers, and hospital administrators, the open-access document was recently published by a multidisciplinary international panel of 24 experts in the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology.

The statement includes 77 separate recommendations under five headings: 1) continued use of CGM by patients already using them at home, 2) initiation of CGM in hospital, 3) continuation of AID systems in hospital by patients already using them at home, 4) logistics and hands-on care of hospitalized patients using CGM and AID systems, and 5) data management of CGM and AID systems in hospital.

“This is the most comprehensive and up-to-date guideline on the use of diabetes technology in the hospital now,” lead author Rodolfo J. Galindo, MD, told Medscape Medical News in an interview.

“Overall, most experts believe that CGM and AID have the potential to overcome the current limitations of glycemic monitoring in the hospital to improve patient outcomes but we need research, first to get the approval and second to get widespread use,” said Galindo, medical chair of the hospital diabetes taskforce at Emory Healthcare System, Atlanta, Georgia. 

COVID-19 Changed Everything

The guideline is an update of a 2017 statement on hospital use of CGM. The new guideine adds AID systems — sometimes referred to as an artificial pancreas, which combines a CGM and insulin pump and uses an algorithm to guide insulin delivery — and is the first to be developed during the COVID-19 era.

The update had been planned prior to the pandemic, but the actual panel meeting took place in April 2020, after the US Food and Drug Administration allowed inpatient use of CGM despite lack of official approval.

“COVID-19 changed everything…We had to be more specific about how to implement CGM in these patients. The standard of care is hourly point-of-care glucose monitoring in the [ICU], and at least every 4 hours outside the ICU. With limited [personal protective equipment] and the burden on nursing it was unachievable,” Galindo explained.

In June 2020, Galindo and other guideline authors developed a COVID-19-specific document (also open-access), which goes more into detail about CGM and how to implement in-hospital use during the pandemic.

The current consensus guideline “provides a high-level review of the evidence by experts,” Galindo added.

Recommendations Cover Different Technologies and Hospital Settings

The panel “strongly” advises that hospital providers consult with an inpatient diabetes team, if available, to help manage patients already using CGM prior to admission. Among other recommendations, they list several situations in which CGM data should not be relied upon for management decisions, including severe hyper- or hypoglycemia, diabetic ketoacidosis, or in patients with skin infections near the sensor site.

The panel also call for more research into outcomes for CGM continuation in the hospital and optimal implementation of both CGM and point-of-care glucose testing. For hospitals, strong recommendations include developing standard CGM data reports and

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ACC Expert Consensus on Post-TAVR Arrhythmias

The American College of Cardiology (ACC) has released a new Expert Consensus Decision Pathway (ECDP) on the management of conduction disturbances after transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR).

The document provides guidance to clinicians in identifying and managing this common complication of TAVR, covering the pre-TAVR, peri-procedural and post-TAVR periods.

“Conduction disturbances after TAVR are common and there is currently heterogeneity in how they’re managed, ranging from a casual observational approach to invasive electrophysiological studies and preemptive pacemaker implantation,” said writing committee chair Scott Lilly, MD, PhD, from Ohio State Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio.

“We felt this kind of collaborative effort to review what little research there is on this topic and come to [an] expert consensus was long overdue,” he added. 

The document was published online October 21 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 

Lilly stressed in an interview that this effort is an ECDP and not a guideline, “because there is not data out there to solidly stand on and say, ‘this is the way we should do things.’ “

His hope is that this document will generate more discussion on this topic and spur some (probably National Institutes of Health-sponsored) clinical trials to better guide practice.  

Not Uncommon and Not Decreasing

Complete heart block requiring permanent pacemaker (PPM) implantation is seen in about 15% of patients within 30 days after TAVR. While this is a clear indication for PPM, there is no consensus on the management of less severe conduction disturbances such as new bundle branch or transient complete atrioventricular (AV) heart block.

Unlike the rates of bleeding, vascular injury, and stroke, which have decreased over time, the rates of in-hospital PPM implantation after TAVR have not changed significantly since commercialization in 2012. This is a concern as TAVR is increasingly used in younger, lower-risk patients.

“The pacemaker rate really hasn’t improved at a clip we would like to see if it was going to be a durable technology,” Lilly said.

Consensus regarding a reasonable strategy to manage cardiac conduction disturbances after TAVR has been elusive. This is a result of several things: a dearth of adequately powered, randomized controlled trials; the often transient nature of the conduction disturbances; evolving technologies; and the interplay of cardiology subspecialties involved.

The 2013 European Society of Cardiology guidelines address pacing post-TAVR, but do not provide in-depth discussion on the topic. This is the first effort sponsored by a cardiovascular society in the United States to review the existing data and experience and proposed evidence-based expert guidance.

Pre-TAVR Assessment

Pre-TAVR assessment should consider the patient’s risk for post-procedure conduction disturbances, the authors say. Since bradyarrythmias and aortic stenosis may present similarly (fatigue, lightheadedness, and syncope being hallmarks of both), a careful history is needed to determine if bradyarrhythmia is present.

An electrocardiogram (ECG) or ambulatory rhythm monitoring may identify baseline conduction abnormalities and help predict the need for post-TAVR PPM.

“In this section, we underscored some of the literature that has raised awareness about the presence of

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