What are usual lab findings in alcoholic ketoacidosis (AKA)?

Updated: Aug 27, 2020
  • Author: George Ansstas, MD; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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Answer

Diagnosis of alcoholic ketoacidosis (AKA) requires arterial blood gas (ABG) measurement and serum chemistry assays. Usual laboratory findings include the following [10] :

  • The arterial pH is less than 7.3, and the serum bicarbonate level is less than 15 mEq/L

  • The calculated anion gap is greater than 14 mmol/L

  • The partial pressure of carbon dioxide is decreased, secondary to compensatory hyperventilation

  • In some patients, severe vomiting results in chloride depletion and metabolic alkalosis, with consequently higher pH values than those found in patients with diabetic ketoacidosis [4, 11]


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