PMID: 238893Apr 1, 1975

Course and prognosis of 86 episodes of diabetic coma. A five year experience with a uniform schedule of treatment

U KellerP Truog


The admission data and the course of 58 episodes of severe diabetic ketoacidotic coma and of 28 episodes of non-ketotic coma are compared. The non-ketotic patients were older; initial blood glucose, osmolarity, blood urea and serum sodium concentration were higher than in the ketotic patients. Treatment in the first 24 hrs consisted of similar amounts of insulin in both coma forms, the presence of acidaemia did not increase the insulin needs. Acidaemia was corrected only when pH was below 7.20. The disadvantages of alkali therapy are emphasized. A comparison of the age groups of survivors and those patients who died within 72 hrs showed an increase in mortality with age. However, the mortality rates from ketotic and non-ketotic coma were similar in the age groups above 50 years. On admission, blood glucose, osmolarity and blood urea were higher in the fatal cases. Blood urea was the most important indicator of a fatal outcome. The response of blood glucose to insulin was impaired in the subsequently fatal cases. Insulin was given in "moderate" doses by constant infusion. The use of "small" doses is discussed. Early mortality was 14% in the ketotic and 29% in the non-ketotic cases. The most frequent causes of death were circulat...Continue Reading


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Coma (genus)
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