Horm Metab Res 1981; 13(6): 310-314
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-1019254
© Georg Thieme Verlag, Stuttgart · New York

Somatostatin and Insulin Infusion in the Management of Diabetic Ketoacidosis

A. V. Greco, G. Ghirlanda, L. Altomonte, R. Manna, A. G. Rebuzzi, A. Bertoli
  • Istituto di Patologia Medica, Catholic University, Rome, Italy
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Publication History



Publication Date:
14 March 2008 (online)


The effect of low-dose insulin infusion (4.8 U/h) in diabetic ketoacidosis was compared to that of low-dose insulin infusion (4.8 U/h) plus somatostatin (500 μg/h IV). Treatment with insulin only in 20 patients caused normalization of blood glucose levels within 6 hours and resolution of ketoacidosis within 5 hours. During insulin plus somatostatin infusion in 7 patients, blood glucose levels returned to normal within 4 hours and acidosis was reduced within 3 hours.

Correction of acidosis is the most important problem in diabetic ketoacidosis: in the severest cases cardiovascular and cerebral complications may ensue.

The data presented show that addition of somatostatin to treatment with low doses of insulin reduces and resolves acidosis in a shorter time while plasma levels of glucagon and GH were concomitantly reduced.