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Is it normal to have high blood glucose levels when suffering from pneumonia?

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Posted on Wed, 29 Apr 2015
Question: if a patient did an CXR and detected right basal consolidation, and had a cough and purulent sputum for 1 week and mild shortness of breath. His C reative protein was very high than normal. when he was admitted, blood glucose levels were taken. First day - first reading was 6.7(1600) second reading was 10.6(2000). By the second it keeps on increasing. and finally by the third say it decreased about to normal ranges. His biochemistry and haemotology results showed an increase in WWC and Neutrophils.

The question is why this patient Blood Gluecose Levels is high on one of the days he was in hospital?
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Answered by Dr. Vivek Chail (23 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Pneumonia causes blood glucose level to rise and this leads to complication

Detailed Answer:
Hi XXXX,
Thanks for writing in to us.

I have read through your query in detail.
Please find my observations below.

1. Your patient has pneumonia involving right lung lower lobe segments. Infections cause blood glucose levels to rise to much higher levels initially. This is due to inflammation and bacterial proliferation.

2. Medical literature shows that FBS between 101-125 mg/dl (5.7-6.9 mmol/l) on hospital admission increases pneumonia complication rates among the elderly with no previous diagnosis of diabetes. Further increase in blood glucose might occur as severity of infection progresses.

3. Hyperglycemia during hospitalization in pneumonia patients, even in the non-diabetic range, may be a marker of immune dysfunction and/or a pro-inflammatory state and should aid in the identification of patients at higher risk for complication rates during hospitalization.

4. The patient had one of the known predictors of severe pneumonia and adverse complications. The reason for this is that at the molecular level, hyperglycemia affects pro-inflammatory cytokine production and the function of polymorphonuclear leukocytes and T cells. Alterations in polymorphonuclear cells have been extensively studied, with demonstration of defects in adhesion, chemotaxis, and phagocytosis when cells are exposed to hyperglycemia, supporting clinically observed adverse outcomes.

With treatment the blood glucose levels return to normal. However this takes longer in the elderly patients. A few patients might develop severe complications leading to death.

5. The increase WBC and neutrophils are due to activation of immune system.

Hope this answers your question. Please feel free to correct any oversight in my interpretation of your problems and discuss them in detail as per your requirements.

Hope your query is answered.
Do write back if you have any doubts.

Regards,
Dr.Vivek
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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Answered by
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Dr. Vivek Chail

Radiologist

Practicing since :2002

Answered : 6783 Questions

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Is it normal to have high blood glucose levels when suffering from pneumonia?

Brief Answer: Pneumonia causes blood glucose level to rise and this leads to complication Detailed Answer: Hi XXXX, Thanks for writing in to us. I have read through your query in detail. Please find my observations below. 1. Your patient has pneumonia involving right lung lower lobe segments. Infections cause blood glucose levels to rise to much higher levels initially. This is due to inflammation and bacterial proliferation. 2. Medical literature shows that FBS between 101-125 mg/dl (5.7-6.9 mmol/l) on hospital admission increases pneumonia complication rates among the elderly with no previous diagnosis of diabetes. Further increase in blood glucose might occur as severity of infection progresses. 3. Hyperglycemia during hospitalization in pneumonia patients, even in the non-diabetic range, may be a marker of immune dysfunction and/or a pro-inflammatory state and should aid in the identification of patients at higher risk for complication rates during hospitalization. 4. The patient had one of the known predictors of severe pneumonia and adverse complications. The reason for this is that at the molecular level, hyperglycemia affects pro-inflammatory cytokine production and the function of polymorphonuclear leukocytes and T cells. Alterations in polymorphonuclear cells have been extensively studied, with demonstration of defects in adhesion, chemotaxis, and phagocytosis when cells are exposed to hyperglycemia, supporting clinically observed adverse outcomes. With treatment the blood glucose levels return to normal. However this takes longer in the elderly patients. A few patients might develop severe complications leading to death. 5. The increase WBC and neutrophils are due to activation of immune system. Hope this answers your question. Please feel free to correct any oversight in my interpretation of your problems and discuss them in detail as per your requirements. Hope your query is answered. Do write back if you have any doubts. Regards, Dr.Vivek