Cardiovascular disease, COPD, and diabetes (DM) are associated with increased complications with COVID-19. A correlation between COVID-19 and diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) or Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic Syndrome (HHS) has been suggested; however, the precise mechanism remains unclear. We present a case series of six patients with COVID-19 infections who were found to have DKA, HHS, or mixed picture. We describe an association between COVID-19 and hyperglycemic emergencies. Six patients (50% male, 50% female, mean age 47.667 +/- 18.747) were identified from November 2021 to February 2022. Comorbidities included DM (83.3%), HTN (50%), as well as ESRD, A-Fib, ISLD, HIV, and dementia (each 16.7%). Common review of systems included nausea and vomiting (50%), abdominal pain (33.3%), dyspnea (33.3%), and decreased appetite (33.3%). Additional findings were dysarthria, facial droop, generalized weakness, productive cough, myalgias, and increased urinary frequency (16.7%). Patients were diagnosed with DKA (50%), mixed process (33.3%), and HHS (16.7%). In terms of COVID-19 symptoms, most patients were asymptomatic (83.3%), with one patient developing hypoxia. The survival rate was 100%. Infections can incite DKA/HHS; yet, COVID-19 may have factors that amplify this process, in the setting of pancreatic beta-cell dysfunction from the virus itself. This may contribute to why diabetic patients have a ten times higher risk of death if they develop COVID-19. This virus binds to ACE2 receptors in the pancreas and damages the islets, ultimately decreasing insulin release. Here, we introduce cases of DKA/HHS in the setting of COVID-19, to understand the relationship between how COVID-19 infections may exacerbate diabetic complications.
Patel, Dhruv; Kania, Brooke; Salem, Ahmed; Akroush, Wadah; Naseer, Minha; McNamara, David; and Perez, Carlos
"COVID-19 Viral Infection Presenting with Diabetic Ketoacidosis, Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic Syndrome, or Mixed Hyperglycemic Crisis: A Case Series,"
Journal of Community Hospital Internal Medicine Perspectives: Vol. 13:
2, Article 15.
Available at: https://scholarlycommons.gbmc.org/jchimp/vol13/iss2/15