DKA, CVL and DVT. Increased risk of deep venous thrombosis in children with diabetic ketoacidosis and femoral central venous lines

J Davis, T Surendran, S Thompson, C Corkey
Irish Medical Journal 2007, 100 (1): 344
Incidence of type 1 diabetes mellitus is continuing to rise in children. The presentation of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) in children with newly diagnosed diabetes is significantly higher in those less than 5 years old. Critically ill patients admitted to Paediatric Intensive Care Units (PICU), would have a central venous line (CVL) inserted as part of their ongoing management. There are associations linking with the development of deep venous thrombosis (DVT) in DKA/CVL patients. An 18-month-old boy presented with a short history of polydypsia, polyuria and weight loss. The initial blood sugar was 27.0 mmol/L and a venous blood gas showed severe metabolic acidosis. He was diagnosed and treated for DKA. He was transferred to the regional PICU for further management. There, a central venous line (CVL) was inserted in his left femoral vein. This was removed on Day 4. Subsequently, he developed a swelling on his left leg, with significant discrepancy in leg circumference. Doppler ultrasound confirmed a deep venous thrombosis. Conclusion Diabetes has a propensity for hypercoagulability and DKA promotes a prothrombotic state. Retrospective studies have shown younger patients with DKA and a femoral CVL are at higher risk of developing DVT. A central femoral line should avoided in such patients. DVT prophylaxis and Doppler follow up should also be considered.

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