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Case Report Euglycemic Diabetic Ketoacidosis in a Patient with Cocaine Intoxication Asma Abu-Abed Abdin, 1 Muhammad Hamza, 2 Muhammad S. Khan, 3 and Awab Ahmed 3 1 Jordan University for Science and Technology, P.O. Box 3030, Irbid 22110, Jordan 2 Department of Medicine, Dow Medical College, Baba-E-Urdu Road, Karachi 74200, Pakistan 3 Section of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, 920 Stanton L Young Boulevard, Oklahoma City, OK 73104, USA Correspondence should be addressed to Muhammad S. Khan; [email protected] Received 13 June 2016; Revised 11 July 2016; Accepted 12 July 2016 Academic Editor: Moritoki Egi Copyright © 2016 Asma Abu-Abed Abdin et al. is is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is characterized by elevated anion gap metabolic acidosis, hyperglycemia, and elevated ketones in urine and blood. Hyperglycemia is a key component of DKA; however, a subset of DKA patients can present with near-normal blood glucose, an entity described as “euglycemic DKA.” is rare phenomenon is thought to be due to starvation and food restriction in insulin dependent diabetic patients. Cocaine abuse is considered a trigger for development of DKA. Cocaine also has anorexic effects. We describe an interesting case of euglycemic DKA in a middle-aged diabetic female presenting with elevated anion gap metabolic acidosis, with near-normal blood glucose, in the settings of noncompliance to insulin and cocaine abuse. We have postulated that cocaine abuse was implicated in the pathophysiology of euglycemic DKA in this case. is case highlights complex physiological interplay between type-1 diabetes, noncompliance to insulin, and cocaine abuse leading to DKA, with starvation physiology causing development of euglycemic DKA. 1. Introduction e hallmark of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is hyper- glycemia, metabolic acidosis, and increased ketones [1]. e absence of hyperglycemia, defined as serum glucose con- centration greater than 250 mg/dL [1], makes the diagnosis of DKA less obvious in a patient with elevated serum anion gap metabolic acidosis and positive serum and urine ketones. However, euglycemic DKA has been well described in the literature mainly in type-1 diabetic patients, starvation, gestational diabetes, and more recently the settings SGLT inhibitor use. We describe a case of middle-aged women, who presented with severe metabolic acidosis, ketonemia, and near-normal blood glucose in the settings of noncom- pliance to insulin and cocaine use leading to poor oral intake. is case report also reviews possible physiologic interplay between lack of insulin and cocaine use leading to DKA. 2. Case A fiſty-seven-year-old female presented to emergency room with altered mental status, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. e patient was in usual state of health 2 days before presentation, when she developed intermittent dull epigastric pain. e patient was able to tolerate the pain initially, but on day of presentation the pain became severe and persistent and she started having nonbilious vomiting. She also became somnolent and tachypneic and therefore the decision was made to bring her to the emergency room. Her past medical history was significant for diabetes mellitus and she was on insulin monotherapy. e family reported that for the last few weeks the patient was noncompliant with using insulin. On initial evaluation her vital signs were remarkable for temperature of 37 degree Celsius, pulse of 120/minutes, blood pressure (BP) of 134/78 mmHg, respi- ratory rate of 24 breath/minute, and oxygen saturation of Hindawi Publishing Corporation Case Reports in Critical Care Volume 2016, Article ID 4275651, 4 pages http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/4275651

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  • Case ReportEuglycemic Diabetic Ketoacidosis in a Patient withCocaine Intoxication

    Asma Abu-Abed Abdin,1 Muhammad Hamza,2 Muhammad S. Khan,3 and Awab Ahmed3

    1 Jordan University for Science and Technology, P.O. Box 3030, Irbid 22110, Jordan2Department of Medicine, Dow Medical College, Baba-E-Urdu Road, Karachi 74200, Pakistan3Section of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, 920 Stanton L Young Boulevard,Oklahoma City, OK 73104, USA

    Correspondence should be addressed to Muhammad S. Khan; [email protected]

    Received 13 June 2016; Revised 11 July 2016; Accepted 12 July 2016

    Academic Editor: Moritoki Egi

    Copyright © 2016 Asma Abu-Abed Abdin et al.This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons AttributionLicense, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properlycited.

    Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is characterized by elevated anion gap metabolic acidosis, hyperglycemia, and elevated ketones inurine and blood. Hyperglycemia is a key component of DKA; however, a subset of DKA patients can present with near-normalblood glucose, an entity described as “euglycemic DKA.” This rare phenomenon is thought to be due to starvation and foodrestriction in insulin dependent diabetic patients. Cocaine abuse is considered a trigger for development of DKA. Cocaine also hasanorexic effects.We describe an interesting case of euglycemicDKA in amiddle-aged diabetic female presentingwith elevated aniongap metabolic acidosis, with near-normal blood glucose, in the settings of noncompliance to insulin and cocaine abuse. We havepostulated that cocaine abuse was implicated in the pathophysiology of euglycemic DKA in this case. This case highlights complexphysiological interplay between type-1 diabetes, noncompliance to insulin, and cocaine abuse leading to DKA, with starvationphysiology causing development of euglycemic DKA.

    1. Introduction

    The hallmark of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is hyper-glycemia, metabolic acidosis, and increased ketones [1]. Theabsence of hyperglycemia, defined as serum glucose con-centration greater than 250mg/dL [1], makes the diagnosisof DKA less obvious in a patient with elevated serumanion gap metabolic acidosis and positive serum and urineketones. However, euglycemic DKA has been well describedin the literature mainly in type-1 diabetic patients, starvation,gestational diabetes, and more recently the settings SGLTinhibitor use. We describe a case of middle-aged women,who presented with severe metabolic acidosis, ketonemia,and near-normal blood glucose in the settings of noncom-pliance to insulin and cocaine use leading to poor oralintake. This case report also reviews possible physiologicinterplay between lack of insulin and cocaine use leading toDKA.

    2. Case

    A fifty-seven-year-old female presented to emergency roomwith altered mental status, nausea, vomiting, and abdominalpain. The patient was in usual state of health 2 days beforepresentation, when she developed intermittent dull epigastricpain. The patient was able to tolerate the pain initially,but on day of presentation the pain became severe andpersistent and she started having nonbilious vomiting. Shealso became somnolent and tachypneic and therefore thedecision was made to bring her to the emergency room.Her past medical history was significant for diabetes mellitusand she was on insulin monotherapy. The family reportedthat for the last few weeks the patient was noncompliantwith using insulin. On initial evaluation her vital signs wereremarkable for temperature of 37 degree Celsius, pulse of120/minutes, blood pressure (BP) of 134/78mmHg, respi-ratory rate of 24 breath/minute, and oxygen saturation of

    Hindawi Publishing CorporationCase Reports in Critical CareVolume 2016, Article ID 4275651, 4 pageshttp://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/4275651

  • 2 Case Reports in Critical Care

    95% on 2-liter nasal cannula. Pertinent examination find-ings included obtunded patient who did not wake up todeep sternal rub, dry oral mucosa, and a weak gag reflex.Her pulmonary and cardiovascular examination was unre-markable. Admission labs indicated severe uncompensatedmetabolic acidosis with arterial blood gas showing pH of7.02, PaCO

    2of 14, PaO

    2of 134, calculated bicarbonate of 4,

    and oxygen saturation of 97%. Serum chemistries indicatedsodium 137mEq/L (136–145mEq/L), potassium 4.4mEq/L(3.5–5.1mEq/L), chloride 82mEq/L (97–109mEq/L), bicar-bonate < 10mEq/L (23–32mEq/L), blood urea nitrogen(BUN) 32mg/dL (7–17mg/dL), serum creatinine 2.84mg/dL(0.7–1.1mg/dL), serum glucose 172mg/dL (66–111mg/dL),measured serum anion gap 46 (4–14), and measured serumosmolality 324mOsm/kg (280–300mOsm/kg). Her urineanalysis was positive for ketones. Urine and serum drugscreen was positive for cocaine. Other labs including com-plete blood count, lactic acid, serum Tylenol levels, and liverfunction tests were within normal limits. Admission chestroentgenogram was unremarkable (Figure 1).

    Given concern for severe uncompensated metabolic aci-dosis and decreased sensorium, the patient was intubated forairway protection. Initial differential diagnosis included toxicalcohol ingestion, euglycemic diabetic ketoacidosis, alco-holic ketoacidosis, and starvation ketoacidosis. The serumethanol, methanol, ethylene glycol, and propylene glycolwere undetectable on admission labs and serum beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) levels were significantly elevated15.95mmol/L (0.02–0.27mmol/L) confirming the diagnosisof euglycemic diabetic ketoacidosis. As the patient’s bloodglucose was 172mg/dL on admission, we initially admin-istered 1 liter bolus of intravenous (IV) 5% Dextrose and0.45% normal saline (D5-1/2 NS), followed by a maintenancerate of 250 cc/hour, supplemented with 20mEq of potassiumchloride IV per liter of D5-1/2 NS. Insulin drip was initiatedat a rate of 0.1 units/kg/hour. Finger stick blood glucosewas checked hourly to maintain blood glucose between 150and 200mg/dL. Basic metabolic panel and BHB levels werechecked at four-hour interval. After initial 4 liters of volumeresuscitation, the patient’s anion gap started to close andin 18 hours period her gap closed completely as shown inTable 1.

    The patient was subsequently transitioned to subcuta-neous insulin. Her mentation improved and she was extu-bated. After extubation patient confirmed that she was on acocaine binge for 2 days and missed her insulin doses duringthat time.Thepatient was transferred out ofmedical intensivecare unit and was discharged from hospital subsequently.

    3. Discussion

    Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is defined by the AmericanDiabetes Association as having a combination of hyper-glycemia (glucose > 250mg/dL), acidosis (arterial pH <7.3 and bicarbonate < 15mEq/L), and ketosis (moderateketonuria or ketonemia) [1]. Normally, human bodies havebalance between insulin levels and their counter regulatoryhormoneswhich include glucagon, epinephrine, cortisol, andgrowth hormone. Any factor that causes decrease in insulin

    Figure 1: Chest X-ray on admission.

    levels or increase in its counter regulatory hormones or bothwill lead to development of DKA [1].

    Rare cases of DKA have been found to occur in theabsence of true hyperglycemia; such cases are called eug-lycemic DKA.This phenomenonwas first reported byMunroet al., when 37 out of 211 studied DKA cases were foundto be normoglycemic (defined as a serum glucose level of300mg/dL (16.7mmol/L) or lower and a plasma bicarbonatelevel of 10mmol/L or lower at presentation) [2]. Thereafter,these criteria have been adjusted to consider serum glucoselevel of 200mg/dL as a threshold for the diagnosis of eug-lycemicDKA.Theunderlyingmechanismof this rare entity iseither decreased hepatic production of glucose during fastingstates or enhanced urinary excretion of glucose induced byincrease in counter regulatory hormones, with the formerbeing the more important; that is, when a diabetic patient isexposed to any triggering factor for DKA and is fasting forany cause while continuing his insulin treatment regularly,the liver will be in a state of glycogen depletion, which in turnleads to decreased hepatic glucose production and increasedlipolysis and fatty acid production, and this finally will lead todecreased glucose production while ketone bodies formationis continuous, ending in a state of euglycemic DKA [3]. Someof the causes that have been reported to induce euglycemicDKA include low caloric intake and starvation or prolongedvomiting, pregnancy, pancreatitis, insulin pump use, andSGLT2 inhibitors [4–9]. Table 2 gives major differentiatingpoints between hyperglycemia DKA and euglycemic DKA.

    Euglycemic DKA can be distinguished from other formsof ketoacidosis including starvation ketoacidosis, and alco-holic ketoacidosis, by clinical history and serum bicarbonatelevels. The serum bicarbonate concentration in starvationketoacidosis is usually more than 18mEq/L [10]. The absenceof other causes of elevated anion gap metabolic acidosis suchas lactic acidosis, elevated toxic serum alcohols (methanol,ethylene glycol, etc.), drug toxicity, paraldehyde ingestion,and renal failure can distinguish DKA.

    In the current case, the patient presented with severeuncompensated metabolic acidosis, ketonuria, and ketone-mia in the absence of true hyperglycemia. After excludingother possibilities of wide anion gap metabolic acidosisincluding ethanol, methanol, or ethylene glycol ingestion, thediagnosis of euglycemic DKA was made and it was treatedaccordingly by IV 5% Dextrose, 0.45% normal saline, and

  • Case Reports in Critical Care 3

    Table 1: Basic metabolic panel, beta-hydroxybutyrate, and serum pH from time of admission to closure of anion gap.

    Admission Six hours apart Four hours apart Four hours apart Four hours apart Four hours apartSodium 137mEq/L 139mEq/L 139mEq/L 138mEq/L 138mEq/L 137mEq/LPotassium 4.4mEq/L 4.8mEq/L 4.3mEq/L 4.1mEq/L 3.9mEq/L 4.2mEq/LChloride 82mEq/L 102mEq/L 103mEq/L 105mEq/L 107mEq/L 107mEq/LBicarbonate

  • 4 Case Reports in Critical Care

    [9] E. A.Warner, G. S. Greene, M. S. Buchsbaum, D. S. Cooper, andB. E. Robinson, “Diabetic ketoacidosis associated with cocaineuse,” Archives of Internal Medicine, vol. 158, no. 16, pp. 1799–1802, 1998.

    [10] A. E. Kitabchi, G. E. Umpierrez, J. M. Miles, and J. N. Fisher,“Hyperglycemic crises in adult patients with diabetes,”DiabetesCare, vol. 32, no. 7, pp. 1335–1343, 2009.

    [11] E. A. Nyenwe, R. S. Loganathan, S. Blum et al., “Active useof cocaine: an independent risk factor for recurrent diabeticketoacidosis in a city hospital,” Endocrine Practice, vol. 13, no.1, pp. 22–29, 2007.

    [12] A. S. Kashyap, K. P. Anand, and S. Kashyap, “Cocaine use a riskfactor for DKA,” Endocrine Abstracts, vol. 7, abstract P249, 2004.

    [13] D. C. Balopole, C. D. Hansult, and D. Dorph, “Effect of cocaineon food intake in rats,” Psychopharmacology, vol. 64, no. 1, pp.121–122, 1979.

    [14] S. J. Cooper and G. A. van der Hoek, “Cocaine: a microstruc-tural analysis of its effects on feeding and associated behaviourin the rat,” Brain Research, vol. 608, no. 1, pp. 45–51, 1993.

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