Euglycemic diabetic ketoacidosis

Leonid Barski, Tamar Eshkoli, Evgenia Brandstaetter, Alan Jotkowitz
European Journal of Internal Medicine 2019, 63: 9-14
Euglycemic DKA (eu-DKA) is a life-threatening emergency. It may occur in patients with both type 1 and type 2 DM, and characterized by milder degrees of hyperglycemia with blood glucose level < 200 mg/dl, which can result in delayed diagnosis and treatment with potential for adverse metabolic consequences. Following the wide introduction of the sodium glucose transporter 2 inhibitors (SGLT2i) in therapeutic practice for DM type 2 treatment the amount of eu-DKA increased and therefore, interest to this entity rose. Other causes associated with eu-DKA include pregnancy, decreased caloric intake, heavy alcohol use, insulin use prior to hospital admission, cocaine abuse, pancreatitis, sepsis, chronic liver disease and liver cirrhosis. Patients with eu-DKA as well as with DKA need immediate referral for emergency evaluation and treatment. The treatment includes rapid correction of dehydration, correction electrolyte abnormalities, and use of insulin drip until the anion gap, and bicarbonate levels normalize. Increased glucose administration using higher percentages of dextrose (10 or 20%) are required to facilitate the concomitant administration of the relatively large amounts of insulin that are needed to correct the severe acidosis in these patients.


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