Author(s): Nyenwe EA, Razavi LN, Kitabchi AE, Khan AN, Wan JY
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: The etiology of altered sensorium in diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) remains unclear. Therefore, we sought to determine the origin of depressed consciousness in DKA. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: We analyzed retrospectively clinical and biochemical data of DKA patients admitted in a community teaching hospital. RESULTS: We recorded 216 cases, 21\% of which occurred in subjects with type 2 diabetes. Mean serum osmolality and pH were 304 +/- 31.6 mOsm/kg and 7.14 +/- 0.15, respectively. Acidosis emerged as the prime determinant of altered sensorium, but hyperosmolarity played a synergistic role in patients with severe acidosis to precipitate depressed sensorium (odds ratio 2.87). Combination of severe acidosis and hyperosmolarity predicted altered consciousness with 61\% sensitivity and 87\% specificity. Mortality occurred in 0.9\% of the cases. CONCLUSIONS: Acidosis was independently associated with altered sensorium, but hyperosmolarity and serum "ketone" levels were not. Combination of hyperosmolarity and acidosis predicted altered sensorium with good sensitivity and specificity.
This article was published in Diabetes Care
and referenced in Journal of Diabetes & Metabolism