The Syndrome Of Alcoholic Ketoacidosis.
Department of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia. PURPOSE: To further elucidate the clinical spectrum of alcoholic ketoacidosis (AKA). PATIENTS AND METHODS: A case series of 74 patients with AKA defined as a wide anion gap metabolic acidosis unexplained by any other disorder or toxin, including any patient with a history of chronic alcohol abuse. The setting was the Medical Emergency Department at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, a university-affiliated inner-city hospital. RESULTS: AKA is a common disorder in the emergency department, more common than previously thought. The acid-base abnormalities are more diverse than just a wide-gap metabolic acidosis and often include a concomitant metabolic alkalosis, hyperchloremic acidosis, or respiratory alkalosis. Lactic acidosis is also common. Semiquantitative serum acetoacetate levels were positive in 96% of patients. Elevated blood alcohol levels were present in two thirds of patients in whom alcohol levels were determined, and levels consistent with intoxication were seen in 40% of these patients. Electrolyte disorders including hyponatremia, hypokalemia, hypophosphatemia, hyperglycemia, hypo Continue reading >>