Jornal de Pediatria
Print version ISSN 0021-7557
COLLETT-SOLBERG, Paulo Ferrez. Diabetic ketoacidosis in children: review of pathophysiology and treatment with the use of the “two bags system”. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2001, vol.77, n.1, pp.9-16. ISSN 0021-7557. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0021-75572001000100006.
Objectives: To review diabetic ketoacidosis, including the “two bags system”, a method of administering liquids in order to provide a smoother correction of the hyperglycemic and ketotic states. Methods: Review of recent publications (last 7 years) from a Medline search and chapters published in pediatric textbooks that discuss the etiology, therapy, and complications of diabetic ketoacidosis. The management approach incorporates the findings of these publications as well as the clinical experience at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Duke University Medical Center. Results: The pathology of the type 1 Diabetes Mellitus involves the progressive destruction of the ß cells of the pancreas, causing insulin deficiency. Insulin is essential in the metabolism of carbohydrates, protein and fat. Insulin deficiency may lead to diabetic ketoacidosis which has three components: 1) hyperglycemia, which causes glycosuria and consequently dehydration; 2) lipolysis which, causes ketonemia/ketonuria; and 3) acidosis, that is caused by the dehydration and the high serum levels of ketones. Diabetic ketoacidosis is a serious condition and, if not treated appropriately, can cause coma and death. In children cerebral edema is the major complication of the therapy for diabetic ketoacidosis. Careful replacement of insulin, fluids, glucose and electrolytes is essential. Conclusions: The literature presents different ways to manage DKA in pediatrics, without a consensus on the cause of the most important complication (cerebral edema), and consequently without a consensus on the best approach. The use of the two saline bags in patients in DKA allows fast adjustments in the dextrose concentration of the infusion fluids, simplifying and reducing the costs of the treatment of diabetic ketoacidosis.