The diabetic surgical patient

Vivek K. Moitra, Steffen E. Meiler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: This review summarizes the current progress in disease classification, pathophysiology and management of diabetes mellitus with a special focus on treatment modalities and recommendations for the practicing anesthesiologist. RECENT FINDINGS: The revised classification of diabetes mellitus emphasizes disease cause and eliminates any reference to age-of-onset and insulin therapy. Hyperglycemia has emerged as an important marker of outcome in the operating room. Intensive insulin therapy promises to reduce health risk in the surgical and critical care setting. Perioperative β-blocker and statin therapy are likely to reduce cardiac morbidity and mortality in diabetic patients. Promotility therapy (with metoclopromide) intended to reduce the aspiration risk of diabetic gastroparesis is likely over-utilized and may only be indicated for diabetics with poor glucose control and high hemoglobin A1c levels. SUMMARY: According to World Health Organization projections, anesthesiologists can expect to care for more diabetic patients than ever before. Diabetes and its associated complications present unique challenges to the perioperative physician. As biomedical research continues to unravel the genetic, cellular and molecular mechanisms of this complex metabolic disease, our specialty must be prominently involved in the design and testing of innovative treatments to protect the diabetic patient from the risks of surgery and anesthesia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-345
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Anaesthesiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2006


  • Anesthesiology
  • Diabetes
  • Hyperglycemia
  • Outcome
  • Perioperative

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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