diagnostic criteria and classification of DKA

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diagnostic criteria

The diagnostic criteria for diabetic ketoacidosis are:

  • ketonaemia 3 mmol /l and over or significant ketonuria (more than 2 + on standard urine sticks)
  • blood glucose over 11 mmol /l or known diabetes mellitus
  • venous bicarbonate (HCO3 ) ) below 15 mmol /l and /or venous pH less than 7.3 (1)

The American Diabetes Association diagnostic criteria for DKA are as follows:

  • elevated serum glucose level (greater than 250 mg per dL [13.88 mmol per L])
  • an elevated serum ketone level
  • a pH less than 7.3 and
  • a serum bicarbonate level less than 18 mEq per L (18 mmol per L) (2)

classification of diabetic ketoacidosis

DKA can be classified according to the severity into mild, moderate and severe (2)


criterion

mild (serum glucose > 250 mg/dL [13.88 mmol/L])

moderate (serum glucose > 250 mg/dL)

severe (serum glucose > 250 mg/dL)

anion gap

> 10 mEq/L (10 mmol/L)

> 12 mEq/L (12 mmol/L)

> 12 mEq/L (12 mmol/L)

arterial pH

7.24 to 7.30

7.00 to < 7.24

< 7.00

effective serum osmolality

variable

variable

variable

mental status

alert

alert/drowsy

stupor/coma

serum bicarbonate

15 to 18 mEq/L (15 to 18 mmol/L)

10 to < 15 mEq/L (10 to < 15 mmol/L)

< 10 mEq/L (10  mmol/L)

serum ketone

positive

positive

positive

urine ketone

positive

positive

positive

Reference:

Last reviewed 01/2018

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