Clinical Characteristics and Outcomes of Diabetic Ketoacidosis in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes using SGLT2 Inhibitors

Raya Almazrouei, Bachar Afandi, Fatima AlKindi, Romona Govender, Saif Al-Shamsi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Sodium glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors (SGLT2i) use is associated with an increased risk of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). Objective: This study evaluated and compared the DKA characteristics and outcomes of users and non-users of SGLT2i. Methods: We retrospectively studied patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) admitted with DKA to Tawam Hospital, Al Ain City, UAE between January 2017 and March 2021. Demographic data, clinical, and laboratory findings were extracted from the electronic medical records. Results: A total of 55 patients with T2DM (62% UAE nationals, 50% women) were admitted with DKA. The average age was 54.0 ± 18.9 years and average diabetes duration of 15.7 ± 15.1 years. Seventeen patients (31%) were using SGLT2i. Infection was the main precipitating factor for DKA in (8 out of 17) SGLT2i users. Compared to non-users, SGLT2i users had lower systolic blood pressure (119.9 vs 140 mmHg; P =.012) and serum glucose levels (16.2 vs 24.9 mmol/L; P <.001) and higher Na level (137.5 vs 132.6 mmol/L; P =.005). Additionally, 56.3% of SGLT2i users had euglycemic DKA compared to 2.6% of nonusers (P <.001). Acute kidney injury (AKI) occurred more in SGLT2i users compared to non-users (94.1% vs 67.6%, P =.043). Further analysis revealed that SGLT2i users were about five times more likely to have prolonged hospital length of stay (⩾14 days) when compared with non-users (adjusted OR: 4.84; P =.035). Overall, there was no difference between the two groups with regards to DKA complications and mortality. Conclusions: SGLT2i related DKA is associated with lower blood glucose levels, lower SBP, worse hypovolemia, increased risk of AKI, and longer hospital stay when compared to non SGLT2i related episodes. Since the benefits of SGLT2 inhibitors far outweigh potential risks, there is a need to raise healthcare professionals and patients’ awareness about this potential association.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Medicine Insights: Endocrinology and Diabetes
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2023


  • Ketoacidosis
  • SGLT2i
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • diabetic emergencies
  • diabetic ketoacidosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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