Objective: To estimate the prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM2) in 9-18 year-old children with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and to describe the presenting biochemical characteristics and response to standardized DKA treatment.
Methods: Data were collected from a consecutive sample of 9-18 year-old children presenting with DKA. DKA was defined as hyperglycemia and ketosis with an initial pH <7.3, or bicarbonate <15 mmol/l. Patients were classified as having DM2 if they had negative autoantibody status and normal or elevated fasting C-peptide.
Results: The prevalence of DM2 in patients with DKA was 13.0% (6.1-23.3%). There was no significant difference in the presenting pH (7.14 vs 7.15), but blood glucose was higher (735 vs 587 mg/dl) in patients with DM2, than in patients with type 1 DM (DM1). The duration of insulin infusion until resolution of acidosis (17.3 vs 13.2 h) and intensive care unit stay (2.4 vs 1.6 days) were longer in patients with DM2. Seven of the nine patients with DM2 did not require insulin at 1-year follow-up.
Conclusions: Children with DM2 can present with DKA and constitute a significant percentage in the above 9-year age group. The need for insulin must be carefully re-evaluated as DKA resolves in these patients. Adolescents with DM2 and their families need to be educated about DKA.