Full-size Left-side Hidden
Diabetic Ketoacidosis

David E. Trachtenbarg, MD
Method of:

The diagnostic criteria for diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) are a blood glucose greater than 250mg/dL and an arterial pH less than 7.30. The most common precipitating causes are infection and lack of prescribed insulin. Treatment requires careful administration of fluids; electrolytes including potassium, bicarbonate, phosphorus, and sodium; and insulin. After the DKA has resolved care involves transition to a home regimen appropriate for each patient and a plan to prevent recurrence.

Epidemiology and Pathophysiology

There are more than 100,000 hospitalizations for diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) every year and more than 2000 deaths. DKA is caused by decreased insulin levels and increased gluconeogenesis from counterregulatory hormones. Inflammatory factors such as cytokines are also increased. Although it is more common in patients with type 1 diabetes, DKA also occurs in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Diagnosis and Differential Diagnosis

The …