The Heart in Diabetic Ketoacidosis: A Narrative Review Focusing on the Acute Cardiac Effects and Electrocardiographic Abnormalities

Link to article at PubMed

Am J Med Sci. 2020 Nov 26:S0002-9629(20)30518-8. doi: 10.1016/j.amjms.2020.11.030. Online ahead of print.


Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a serious complication of diabetes mellitus. Hyperglycemia, acidosis, and electrolyte imbalances can directly affect the heart by inducing toxicity, impairing myocardial blood flow, autonomic dysfunction, and altering activation and conduction of electrical impulses throughout the heart, increasing the risk of arrhythmias and ischemia. The electrocardiogram is useful in monitoring patients during and after an episode of DKA, as it allows the detection of arrhythmias and guides metabolic correction. Unfortunately, reports on electrocardiographic abnormalities in patients with DKA are lacking. We found two electrocardiographic patterns that are frequently reported in the literature: a pseudo-myocardial infarction and a Brugada Phenocopy. Both are associated with DKA metabolic anomalies and they resolve after treatment. Because of their clinical relevance and the challenge they represent for clinicians, we analyzed the clinical characteristics of these patients and the mechanisms involved in these electrocardiographic findings.

PMID:33941367 | DOI:10.1016/j.amjms.2020.11.030

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