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  • Poster presentation
  • Open Access

Reliability of arterial, capillary and venous point-of-care glucose measurements in the intensive care unit setting: evaluation of two glucometers

  • 1,
  • 1,
  • 1,
  • 1,
  • 1 and
  • 1
Critical Care200711 (Suppl 3) :P85

  • Published:


  • Hypoglycemia
  • Glycemic Control
  • Tertiary Care Hospital
  • Blood Glucose Control
  • Glucose Measurement


Increased risk of hypoglycemia is the major drawback of strict glycemic control, which has been extensively used in critically ill patients. Fast and precise glucose measurements are therefore mandatory. Our aim was to evaluate the accuracy of two methods of bedside point-of-care testing for glucose measurements using arterial, capillary and venous blood samples in ICU patients.


A cross-sectional study with prospective data collection, including 86 patients admitted to a 40-bed clinical – surgical ICU of a tertiary care hospital. Results from two different methods of glucose measurement were compared with central laboratory arterial blood measurements: (1) AccuChek Advantage® (Roche), arterial, venous and capillary samples; (2) Precision PCx® (Abbott), arterial sample. All samples were collected simultaneously. Agreement between measurements was tested with the Bland – Altman method.


Comparisons between pairs of measurements are presented in Table 1.

Table 1

Arterial central laboratory measurement minus

Mean difference (mg/dl)

95% limits of agreement (mg/dl)

Precision PCx® (arterial)


-50.0 and 14.2

AccuCheck® (arterial)


-35.3 and 22.0

AccuCheck® (fingerstick)


-44.1 and 31.2

AccuCheck® (venous)


-56.4 and 41.0


The two glucose meters evaluated might not be sufficiently reliable to be used in the ICU setting, especially for patients under strict blood glucose control. Moreover, there are marked differences between equipments and a decrease in precision if capillary or venous samples are used.

Authors’ Affiliations

Intensive Care Unit, Hospital Albert Einstein, São Paulo – SP, Brazil


© BioMed Central Ltd 2007