Administration of supplemental sliding scale insulin for correction of hyperglycemia in non–intensive care unit (ICU) patients with type 2 diabetes is frequently used with basal-bolus insulin regimens. In this noninferiority randomized controlled trial we tested whether glycemic control is similar with and without aggressive sliding scale insulin treatment before meals and bedtime in patients treated with basal-bolus insulin regimens.


Patients with type 2 diabetes with admission blood glucose (BG) 140–400 mg/dL treated with basal-bolus insulin were randomized to intensive (correction for BG >140 mg/dL, n = 108) or to nonintensive (correction for BG >260 mg/dL, n = 107) administration of rapid-acting sliding scale insulin before meals and bedtime. The groups received the same amount of sliding scale insulin for BG >260 mg/dL. Primary outcome was difference in mean daily BG levels between the groups during hospitalization.


Mean daily BG in the nonintensive group was noninferior to BG in the intensive group with equivalence margin of 18 mg/dL (intensive 172 ± 38 mg/dL vs. nonintensive 173 ± 43 mg/dL, P = 0.001 for noninferiority). There were no differences in the proportion of target BG readings of 70–180 mg/dL, <70 or <54 mg/dL (hypoglycemia), or >350 mg/dL (severe hyperglycemia) or total, basal, or prandial insulin doses. Significantly fewer subjects received sliding scale insulin in the nonintensive (n = 36 [34%]) compared with the intensive (n = 98 [91%] [P < 0.0001]) group with no differences in sliding scale insulin doses between the groups among those who received sliding scale insulin (intensive 7 ± 4 units/day vs. nonintensive 8 ± 4 units/day, P = 0.34).


Among non-ICU patients with type 2 diabetes on optimal basal-bolus insulin regimen with moderate hyperglycemia (BG <260 mg/dL), a less intensive sliding scale insulin treatment did not significantly affect glycemic control.

Clinical trial reg. no. NCT02408120, clinicaltrials.gov.

This article contains supplementary material online at https://doi.org/10.2337/figshare.19763455.

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