Intraoperative accuracy of a point-of-care glucose meter compared with simultaneous central laboratory measurements

Boris Mraovic, Eric S. Schwenk, Richard H. Epstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background: Concerns have been raised about the use of point-of-care (POC) glucose meters in the hospital setting. Accuracy has been questioned especially in critically ill patients. Although commonly used in intensive care units and operating rooms, POC meters were not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for such use. Data on POC glucose meter performance during anesthesia are lacking. We evaluated accuracy of a POC meter in the intraoperative setting. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 4,333 intraoperative records in which at least one intraoperative glucose was measured using electronic medical records at a large academic hospital. We evaluated the accuracy of a POC glucose meter (ACCU-CHEK® Inform, Roche Pharmaceuticals) based on the 176 simultaneous central laboratory (CL) blood glucose (BG) measurements that were found (i.e., documented collection times within 5 minutes). Point-of-care and central lab BG diferences were analyzed by Bland-Altman and revised error grid analysis (rEGA). Results: Mean POC BG was 163.4 ± 64.7 mg/dl [minimum (min) 48 mg/dl, maximum (max) 537 mg/dl] and mean CL BG was 162.6 ± 65.1 mg/dl (min 44 mg/dl, max 502 mg/dl). Mean absolute diference between POC and CL BG was 24.3 mg/dl. Mean absolute relative diference was 16.5% with standard deviation 26.4%. Point-of-care measurements showed a bias of 0.8 relative to the corresponding CL value, with a precision of 39.0 mg/dl. Forty (23%) POC BG values fell outside the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute guideline and 3.4% POC measurements fell in zones C and D of the rEGA plot. Conclusions: The tested POC glucose meter performed poorly compared to a CL analyzer intraoperatively. Perioperative clinicians should be aware of limitations of specific POC glucose meters, and routine use of POC glucose meters as sole measurement devices in the intraoperative period should be carefully considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)541-546
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Diabetes Science and Technology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Accuracy
  • Blood glucose
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Glucose meter
  • Intraoperative
  • Point-of-care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering


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