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Jornal de Pediatria

Print version ISSN 0021-7557On-line version ISSN 1678-4782


PIVA, Jefferson P.; CZEPIELEWSKI, Mauro; GARCIA, Pedro Celiny R.  and  MACHADO, Denise. Current perspectives for treating children with diabetic ketoacidosis. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2007, vol.83, n.5, suppl., pp.S119-S127. ISSN 0021-7557.

OBJECTIVE:To review current concepts of physiopathology, diagnosis and treatment of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) in childhood, as well as preventive measures to avoid cerebral edema. SOURCES: The authors selected articles from MEDLINE with the keywords diabetes, ketoacidosis, hyperglycemia and cerebral edema, and priority was given to studies including children and that contained complete texts published in English, Portuguese or Spanish. Chapters of books published in Brazil describing the treatment of DKA in pediatric intensive care unit were also reviewed. Based on the reviewed literature and on the author's experience, the most efficient and recommended measures for DKA management are presented. SUMMARY OF THE FINDINGS: Normal saline solution (NaCl 0.9%) has been increasingly used for fast replacement and hydration, as a substitute to diluted (hypotonic) solutions, as well as contraindication of sodium bicarbonate to repair metabolic acidosis in DKA. Regular insulin should be used as continuous infusion (0.1 IU/kg/h) without the need of a loading dose. For fast corrections of glucose oscillations, a practical scheme using two bags of electrolytic solutions is presented. Cerebral edema, its physiopathological mechanism and current treatment are reviewed. CONCLUSIONS: Use of continuous infusion of regular insulin associated with adequate water and electrolyte replacement using isotonic solutions, besides being an effective treatment for DKA, preserves plasma osmolarity and prevents cerebral edema.

Keywords : Diabetes; acidosis; dehydration; insulin; cerebral edema.

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