Journal Article

Alcoholic ketoacidosis: a case report and review of the literature

Nurulamin M. Noor, Krishna Basavaraju and Dan Sharpstone

in Oxford Medical Case Reports

Volume 2016, issue 3, pages 31-33

Published online March 2016 | e-ISSN: 2053-8855 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/omcr/omw006

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  • Emergency Medicine
  • Endocrinology and Diabetes
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Alcoholic ketoacidosis (AKA) is a cause of severe metabolic acidosis usually occurring in malnourished patients with a history of recent alcoholic binge, often on a background of alcohol dependency. AKA can be fatal due to associated electrolyte abnormalities and subsequent development of cardiac arrhythmias. This is a diagnosis that is often delayed or missed, in patients who present with a severe lactic and ketoacidosis. Here we report the case of a 64-year-old female who presented with generalized abdominal pain, nausea and shortness of breath. Blood gas analysis showed significant acidaemia with a pH of 7.10, bicarbonate of 2.9 mmol/l, and lactate of 11.7 mmol/l. Serum ketones were raised at 5.5 mmol/l. The diagnosis of AKA was suspected, and subsequent aggressive fluid resuscitation, management and monitoring were instituted. Given the early recognition of AKA and appropriate multidisciplinary team management, our patient had a good outcome and was discharged home without any complication.

Journal Article.  1328 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Emergency Medicine ; Endocrinology and Diabetes ; Gastroenterology ; Addiction Medicine

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