Serum Amylase and Lipase Estimation in Diabetic Ketoacidosis

J Assoc Physicians India. 2022 Apr;70(4):11-12.


Diabetic ketoacidosis is one of the hyperglycemic emergencies, there is insulin deficiency coupled with concomitant elevation of counter regulatory hormones. This hormonal imbalance promotes gluconeogenesis, glycolysis, glycogenolysis, protein breakdown and lipolysis.The symptoms of DKA like nausea, vomiting, epigastric pain can be present in acute pancreatitis also. From various studies it has been identified that in DKA, non specific elevation of serum amylase and lipase levels occurs in 16-25% of cases. Elevation of serum amylase, and lipase levels in association with severe abdominal pain often trigger the initial diagnosis of acute pancreatitis. So this study was carried out to study the elevation of serum amylase and lipase levels in patients with DKA.

Material: This cross sectional study was conducted in department of medicine KR Hospital,Mysore medical college and research institute, mysore during the study period of six months from June 2021 to november 2021. A total of 50 patients were included in the study after fulfilling the inclusion and exclusion criteria.

Observation: Among 50 cases studied, 9 cases (18%) with DKA are showing elevation of serum amylase levels and 13 cases(26%) of cases are showing elevation of serum lipase,34 cases(68%) were males and 16 cases(32%) were female. Among the 50 cases studied,infection is the most precipitating factor seen in 34cases (68%),followed by omission of insulin in 12 cases(24%), unidentified cause in 4 cases(8%).

Conclusion: significant elevation of serum amylase and serum lipase which are more specific for diagnosis of acute pancreatitis can also be seen in patients with diabetic ketoacidosis. Elevated serum amylase and lipase can occur in patients with DKA probably due to metabolic derangements,decreased clearance of enzymes and not due to acute pancreatitis The clinician must take these data into account when evaluating abdominal symptoms in DKA patients.

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Pain / etiology
  • Acute Disease
  • Amylases
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus*
  • Diabetic Ketoacidosis* / complications
  • Diabetic Ketoacidosis* / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin
  • Lipase
  • Male
  • Pancreatitis* / complications
  • Pancreatitis* / diagnosis


  • Insulin
  • Lipase
  • Amylases