Spectrum of complications of severe DKA in children in pediatric intensive care unit

Qalab Abbas, Saba Arbab, Ul Haque Anwar Ul Haque, Khadija Nuzhat Humayun

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14 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To describe the spectrum of complications of Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) observed in children admitted with severe DKA. Methods: Retrospective review of the medical records of all children admitted with the diagnosis of severe DKA in Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) of the Aga Khan University Hospital, from January 2010 to December 2015 was done. Data was collected on a structured proforma and descriptive statistics were applied. Results: Total 37 children were admitted with complicated DKA (1.9% of total PICU admission with 1.8% in 2010 and 3.4% in 2015). Mean age of study population was 8.1±4.6 years and 70% were females (26/37). Mean Prism III score was 9.4±6, mean GCS on presentation was 11±3.8 and mean lowest pH was 7.00±0.15. Complications observed included hyperchloremia (35.94%), hypokalemia (30.81%), hyponatremia (26.70%), cerebral edema (16.43%), shock (13.35%), acute kidney injury (10.27%), arrhythmias (3.8%), and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (5.4%), while one patient had myocarditis and ARDS each. 13/37 children (35%) needed inotropic support, 11/37 (30%) required mechanical ventilation while only one patient required renal replacement therapy. Two patients (5.4%) died during their PICU stay. Conclusion: Hyperchloremia and other electrolyte abnormalities, cerebral edema and AKI are the most common complications of severe DKA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-109
Number of pages4
JournalPakistan Journal of Medical Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Complications
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Pediatric
  • Pediatric intensive care unit


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