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A Narrative Review on Diabetic Ketoacidosis in Children.

BACKGROUND: Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a life-threatening complication in children with diabetes mellitus. There are considerable differences in the management approaches for DKA between different countries. One of the main areas of differences between guidelines is the administration of fluid, with most guidelines adopting a restrictive approach. This is based on the concern over cerebral oedema, a lethal sequela allegedly to be caused by excessive fluid administration. However, in recent years, new clinical studies suggest that there is no causal relationship between intravenous fluid therapy and DKA-related cerebral injury. The British Society of Paediatric Endocrinology updated its guideline in 2020 to adopt a more permissive approach to fluid administration, which has sparked controversy among some paediatricians.

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this article is to provide a narrative review on the management of DKA.

METHODS: A PubMed search was performed with clinical queries using the key term "diabetic ketoacidosis". The search strategy included randomized controlled trials, clinical trials, meta-analyses, observational studies, guidelines, and reviews. The search was restricted to English literature and the age range of 18 years and younger. Moreover, we reviewed and compared major guidelines.

CONCLUSION: The management of DKA involves early recognition, accurate diagnosis, meticulous fluid and insulin treatment with close monitoring of blood glucose, ketones, electrolytes, renal function, and neurological status. There is still limited clinical evidence to support either a restrictive or permissive approach in the fluid management of paediatric DKA patients. Clinicians should exercise caution when applying different guidelines in their clinical practice, considering the specific circumstances of individual paediatric patients.

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