Coagulation and Fibrinolysis in Pediatric Insulin Titration Trial

Investigator: Anil Sapru, MD
Sponsor: NIH National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Location(s): United States


Hyperglycemia occurs frequently among critically ill children and is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Approximately 25% of critically ill children with heart and lung failure (i.e., those receiving mechanical ventilation ad/or inotropes) develop hyperglycemia within 24 hours of admission, and if the hyperglycemia is sustained (lasting for > 50% of PICU stay), it results in a 6-fold increase in the odds of mortalit. Previous studies have demonstrated that tight glycemic control with insulin, aimed at achieving normoglycemia (TGC- NL) can result in improvement in mortality and morbidity in selected groups of critically ill patients with hyperglycemia. However, the precise mechanism by which TGC-NL leads to improvement in morbidity and mortality is not known. Hyperglycemia is known to result in a pro-thrombotic state via activation of coagulation and impairment of fibrinolysis. This pro-thrombotic, anti-fibrinolytic state, may lead to intravascular fibrin deposition and micro thrombi, which can be a key contributor to the pathogenesis of multi-organ failure. We propose to take advantage of The Heart and Lung Failure Pediatric Insulin Titration trial (HALF PINT) - an NHLBI-funded randomized, controlled trial designed to study the impact of TGC-NL on clinical outcomes among children with heart and lung failure - to investigate the effect of TGC-NL on fibrinolysis and coagulation and to determine the extent to which improvement in deranged coagulation and fibrinolysis by TGC-NL contributes to improvement in clinical outcomes. We propose to enroll 800 critically ill patients with hyperglycemia and heart and lung failure from the HALF PINT study. Since the parent trial will not collect any blood samples other than for confirmation of blood glucose, we will approach parents or surrogates of children enrolled in the HALF PINT trial and obtain informed consent for participation in this ancillary study. We will collect blood samples (3cc from children 2 years and younger, and 5ml from children 3 years and older) at Days 1, 3, and 5 after randomization. We will measure plasma levels of selected markers of coagulation and fibrinolysis and genotype DNA for polymorphisms in the corresponding genes. We will correlate changes over time in the biomarkers with allocation to treatment arm to test whether the beneficial effects of TGC-NL are achieved via normalization of coagulation and fibrinolysis. We will also measure inflammatory biomarkers CRP, IL-6 and IL-8 to differentiate direct effects of TGC on coagulation from indirect effects via inflammation. We will also genotype for tag SNPs in the corresponding genes and test for association of the plasma and genetic markers with clinical outcomes. The results from this study will provide mechanistic insights into the effect of TGC-NL on clinical outcome and could lead to the use of anti-coagulant or pro fibrinolytic agents as adjunctive therapies among select groups of critically ill children with hyperglycemia who may not be amenable to tight glucose control or are at higher risk of adverse clinical outcomes from a pro thrombotic environment. Results from this study may lead to identification of novel therapeutic targets and strategies. In addition, it may lead to discovery of protein or genetic markers that will identify critically ill children most likely to benefit from anticoagulant therapies such as activated protein C.  We propose an ancillary study to The Heart and Lung Failure Pediatric Insulin Titration trial (HALF PINT), which is investigating the impact of normalizing blood glucose using insulin infusions on clinical outcomes among children with hyperglycemia and heart and lung failure. In this ancillary study, we will measure plasma levels of coagulation and fibrinolysis proteins and genotype DNA for polymorphisms among patients enrolled in the HALF PINT trial. The results from this ancillary study will help us to understand potential mechanisms through which normalizing blood glucose provides benefit, which may lead to development of new therapeutic strategies in critically ill children