Acute activation of peripheral lymphocytes during treatment of diabetic ketoacidosis

William H. Hoffman, Sandra W Helman, Gregory G Passmore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Activated peripheral T-lymphocytes are increased in both pre-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) patients and in recently diagnosed IDDM patients, as well as in various forms of acute stress. We studied the in vivo T-lymphocyte activation in six patients in severe diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) prior to treatment, after 24 h of treatment and ≥5 days after admission. Five of the six patients showed an increased percentage of activated T-lymphocytes based on the expression of HLA-DR at 24 h of treatment when compared to the admission percentage of activation (P<.05). There was no correlation to the admission serum glucose, osmolality, or electrolytes. Serum pH showed a trend toward an inverse correlation, but was not statistically significant. We speculate that T-lymphocyte activation plays a role in the progression of the acute complications of subclinical brain edema and interstitial pulmonary edema of DKA. This process could also be another factor in the progression of the chronic complications of IDDM in addition to the well-established effects of hyperglycemia and hypertension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)144-149
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Diabetes and its Complications
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2001


  • Diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Leukocytosis
  • Lymphocyte activation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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