Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with type 1 diabetes (T1DM). Individuals familiar with this complication of diabetes should be able to identify the earliest signs and symptoms and act promptly to prevent further deterioration. However, even in patients with established diabetes, the rates of DKA are considerable. This chapter discusses in detail the various aspects of DKA in the pediatric population with T1DM. The prevalence and regional effects on the prevalence of DKA as well as the specific risk factors, whether disease, patient, or physician related, are reviewed. Patients with DKA experience a condition of starvation despite the abundance of metabolic substrate (i.e., glucose); the pathophysiological mechanisms responsible for the development of DKA are outlined. Next, a detailed discussion of the clinical aspects of DKA is provided. This includes the clinical findings at presentation, the approach to treatment, and potential complications. Prevention is the best method for reducing rates of DKA. Somewhat different factors apply in patients with new-onset diabetes when compared with those with established diabetes and these are reviewed.
Part of the book: Major Topics in Type 1 Diabetes