Cognitive Function Following Diabetic Ketoacidosis in Children With New-Onset or Previously Diagnosed Type 1 Diabetes.

Year of Publication


Date Published

2020 Sep 22

ISSN Number



<p><strong>OBJECTIVE: </strong>This study assessed whether a single diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) episode is associated with cognitive declines in children with newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes and whether the same is true in children who had previously been diagnosed after accounting for variations in glycemic control and other relevant factors.</p>

<p><strong>RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: </strong>We prospectively enrolled 758 children, 6-18 years old, who presented with DKA in a randomized multisite clinical trial evaluating intravenous fluid protocols for DKA treatment. DKA was moderate/severe in 430 children and mild in 328 children. A total of 392 children with DKA had new onset of type 1 diabetes, and the rest were previously diagnosed. Neurocognitive assessment occurred 2-6 months after the DKA episode. A comparison group of 376 children with type 1 diabetes, but no DKA exposure, was also enrolled.</p>

<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>Among all patients, moderate/severe DKA was associated with lower intelligence quotient (IQ) (β = -0.12, &lt; 0.001), item-color recall (β = -0.08, = 0.010), and forward digit span (β = -0.06, = 0.04). Among newly diagnosed patients, moderate/severe DKA was associated with lower item-color recall (β = -0.08, = 0.04). Among previously diagnosed patients, repeated DKA exposure and higher HbA were independently associated with lower IQ (β = -0.10 and β = -0.09, respectively, &lt; 0.01) and higher HbA was associated with lower item-color recall (β = -0.10, = 0.007) after hypoglycemia, diabetes duration, and socioeconomic status were accounted for.</p>

<p><strong>CONCLUSIONS: </strong>A single DKA episode is associated with subtle memory declines soon after type 1 diabetes diagnosis. Sizable IQ declines are detectable in children with known diabetes, suggesting that DKA effects may be exacerbated in children with chronic exposure to hyperglycemia.</p>



Alternate Title

Diabetes Care




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