NYMC Faculty Publications

Clinical Characteristics and Outcome in Patients with Combined Diabetic Ketoacidosis and Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic State Associated with COVID-19: A Retrospective, Hospital-Based Observational Case Series

Journal Title

Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice

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Document Type

Case Report

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AIM: One of the risk factors for poor outcome with SARS-CoV-2 infection is diabetes mellitus; diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state (HHS) are the most serious complications of diabetes mellitus. We aimed to explore the clinical characteristics and outcomes of COVID-19 patients presenting with combined DKA/HHS to our institution.

METHODS: A retrospective, hospital based observation case series was performed on patients with SARS-CoV-2 admitted to Intensive Care Unit between 3/20/2020 and 4/20/2020. Inclusion criteria were: (1) Blood Glucose >250 mg/dL; (2) Serum bicarbonate/L; (3) Anion Gap >10; (4) serum pH304 mOsm/kg and (7) positive SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR.

RESULTS: We reported 6 patients who presented during this period with combined DKA/HHS. Their median age was 50 years, all males, three Hispanic, and three African American. Hispanic patients, had more severe acidosis, and multiple comorbidities, with a higher mortality. The striking feature was that combined DKA/HHS was the initial presentation for COVID-19 for most of the cases.

DISCUSSION: Our observational retrospective case series shows that diabetic patients are at risk of developing combined DKA/ HHS associated with COVID-19 and a substantial mortality. To our knowledge, we are first to report the clinical characteristics and outcome in this group of patients.

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