UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Pediatrics

Title: Pediatric Cerebral Edema in DKA

Posted: 10/12/2012 by Rose Chasm, MD (Updated: 12/8/2022)
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  • approximately 1% of children in DKA have some degree of cerebral edema, and up to 25% of them may die
  • known risk factors include the following:
  1. younger children (especially <5 years)
  2. new onset or newly diagnosed
  3. increased BUN at presentation
  4. severity of acidosis at presentation
  5. bicarbonate therapy use
  6. failure of sodium to improve following therapy


Glaser N, Barnett P, et al. Risk factors for cerebral edema in children with diabetic ketoacidosis. The Pediatric Emergency Medicine Collaborative Research Committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics. N Engl J Med 2001;344:264.