Keywords: DKA, cerebral edema, PECARN (PubMed Search)
Posted: 6/22/2018 by Mimi Lu, MD
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Children with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) may have brain injuries ranging from mild to severe. The debate over the contribution from intravenous fluids towards poor neurologic outcomes has been ongoing for decades.
PECARN's large multicenter randomized, controlled trial examined the effects of the rate of administration and the sodium chloride content of intravenous fluids on neurologic outcomes in children with diabetic ketoacidosis may finally put the controversy to rest. There was no difference on significant neurologic outcomes based on the rate (fast vs slow) or concentration (0.9% vs 0.45%) of IV fluid administration.
Clinically apparent brain injury occurred in 12 of 1389 episodes (0.9%) of children in DKA.
Any change in the mental or neurological status of the patient should be concerning for life threatening edema and should be treated with mannitol 1g/kg IV bolus or hypertonic saline (3%) 5-10 mL/kg IV over 30 minutes.
Long, B; Koyfman, A. Emergency medicine myths: cerebral edema in pediatric diabetic ketoacidosis and intravenous fluids. J. Emerg. Med; 2017:53(2),212-221.
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