Serum Levels of Neuron-Specific Enolase in Children With Diabetic Ketoacidosis

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Neuron-specific enolase is a sensitive marker of neuronal damage in various neurologic disorders. This study aimed to measure serum neuron-specific enolase levels at different time points and severities of diabetic ketoacidosis. This study included 90 children (age 9.2 ± 3.4 years) with diabetic ketoacidosis. Neuron-specific enolase was measured at 3 time points (baseline and after 12 and 24 hours of starting treatment). Among patients, 74.4% had diagnosis of new diabetes, 60% had Glasgow Coma Scale score <15, and 75.6% had moderate/severe diabetic ketoacidosis. Compared with controls (n = 30), children with diabetic ketoacidosis had higher neuron-specific enolase levels at the 3 time points (P = .0001). In multiple regression analysis, the factors associated with higher neuron-specific enolase levels were younger age, higher glucose, lower pH, and bicarbonate values. This study indicates that serum neuron-specific enolase is elevated in diabetic ketoacidosis and correlated with the severity of hyperglycemia, ketosis, and acidosis. This study indicates that diabetic ketoacidosis may cause neuronal injury from which the patients recovered partially but not completely.

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