Ketoacidosis is an acute, life-threatening condition, which is caused by the presence of ketone bodies in the blood. The treatment has its specifics as well as drawbacks, the knowledge of which is essential for successful therapy. This algorithm is focusing on diabetic ketoacidosis, which occurs mostly in patients with type I diabetes; however, alcoholic ketoacidosis also exists, albeit being less common and having less acute progress. The algorithm introduces typical signs, carries through the therapy with a focus on addressing some of the common setbacks, and provides ways of preventing future similar conditions.

diabetes mellitus
ketone bodies
Published at: 9.8.2021


Jiří Chvojka, MD, PhD
Intensive Care Unit Physician, 1st Internal Medicine Department, University Hospital Plzeň, Plzeň, Czech Republic

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is one of the most common complications of diabetes mellitus and one of the most common reasons for acute emergency admission in diabetics. If left untreated, it has a high mortality rate. On the contrary, properly treated has an excellent prognosis. The presented algorithm clearly allows to understand not only the pathophysiology of DKA, but above all it summarizes the basic steps in treatment. It emphasizes the possible pitfalls of electrolyte imbalances and the importance of their timely and adequate solution.


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