Sodium bicarbonate therapy in severe diabetic ketoacidosis

Am J Med. 1983 Aug;75(2):263-8. doi: 10.1016/0002-9343(83)91203-2.


Rates of recovery of plasma glucose and bicarbonate levels, arterial pH, and level of consciousness were determined in a retrospective analysis of 95 episodes of severe diabetic ketoacidosis in patients treated with conventional regimens including low-dose insulin, saline, and potassium administration. No significant differences were found between 73 episodes in 52 patients treated with sodium bicarbonate and 22 episodes in 21 patients not undergoing such treatment. In view of these observations, the potential hazards of sodium bicarbonate replacement therapy, and the fact that sodium bicarbonate is still frequently given, the use of intravenous sodium bicarbonate treatment in patients with severe diabetic ketoacidosis requires reevaluation.

MeSH terms

  • Acid-Base Equilibrium / drug effects
  • Adult
  • Arteries
  • Bicarbonates / adverse effects
  • Bicarbonates / blood
  • Bicarbonates / therapeutic use*
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Diabetic Ketoacidosis / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sodium Bicarbonate


  • Bicarbonates
  • Blood Glucose
  • Sodium Bicarbonate