Papers And Originals

Lactic Acidosis in Diabetes

Br Med J 1969; 1 doi: (Published 22 March 1969) Cite this as: Br Med J 1969;1:744
  1. P. J. Watkins,
  2. J. S. Smith,
  3. M. G. Fitzgerald,
  4. J. M. Malins


    Lactic acidosis is occasionally responsible for metabolic acidosis in diabetics. It may occur in the presence of normal blood levels of the ketone bodies, and such cases are often described as having “non-ketotic diabetic acidosis.” Lactic acid may contribute to the metabolic acidosis in patients with true diabetic ketoacidosis, but the blood lactate concentrations in these patients are not usually very high. In some patients the ketoacidosis is replaced by a lactic acidosis during treatment. This usually occurs in association with a serious underlying disorder and is associated with a poor prognosis. A transient increase in blood lactate concentration was in fact observed in most patients after the beginning of treatment, but the significance of this finding is uncertain.


    • * This work forms part of the dissertation for the Cambridge M.D. degree of P.J.W.