Diabetic ketoacidosis in pregnancy tends to occur at lower blood glucose levels: Case–control study and a case report of euglycemic diabetic ketoacidosis in pregnancy

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Abstract

Background and Objective

The occurrence of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) during pregnancy is considered a medical emergency. The aims of the present study were to evaluate the incidence of DKA in pregnant and non-pregnant women with diabetes; to compare the blood glucose levels at the diagnosis of DKA in pregnant and non-pregnant women; and to show a case of euglycemic DKA in pregnancy.

Methods

The subjects consisted of 90 cases of DKA in pregnant women with diabetes and 286 cases of non-pregnant female inpatients receiving treatment for diabetes during 2001 to 2005 in our hospital. The incidence of DKA in pregnant and non-pregnant women with diabetes and the blood glucose levels at the diagnosis of DKA in pregnant and non-pregnant women were compared.

Results

DKA had a higher incidence in pregnant women with diabetes (8/90, 8.9%) than in non-pregnant women with diabetes (9/286, 3.1%) (P < 0.05). The blood glucose levels (mmol/L) in pregnant women with DKA were significantly lower than those in non-pregnant women with DKA (16.3 ± 4.6 vs 27.5 ± 4.8, P < 0.001). A case of euglycemic DKA in pregnancy was described whose serum glucose level was only 6.9 mmol/L.

Conclusions

DKA in pregnant women with diabetes may occur more frequently, and at lower blood glucose levels than DKA in non-pregnant women with diabetes.

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