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Clin Immunol. 2003 Sep;108(3):175-81.

Cytokine response to diabetic ketoacidosis and its treatment.

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Department of Pediatrics, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, GA 30912, USA.


The objectives of this study were to monitor plasma cytokines as markers of cellular activation and as potential markers for the progression of the acute complications of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). Blood samples were obtained prior to, during and after treatment of severe DKA (pH < 7.2) in six children and adolescents. Plasma IL-10, IL-1beta, TNF-alpha, IL-6, IL-8 and IL-2 cytokine levels were assayed by ELISA at each of the time points. Prior to treatment, elevations of multiple cytokines were found, the highest being IL-10. Treatment of DKA resulted in a significant decrease of IL-10 at 6-8 h (p = 0.0062), and further increases in the inflammatory cytokines at 6-8 h and/or 24 h vs 120 h (baseline): IL-1beta (p =.0048); TNF-alpha (p =.0188) and IL-8 (p =.0048). This study strengthens the hypothesis that the metabolic crisis of DKA, and its treatment, have differential effects on cellular activation and cytokine release. The time frame for the increase in inflammatory cytokines correlates with the reported progression of subclinical brain edema, interstitial pulmonary edema and the development of clinical brain edema.

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