Hemichorea in a patient with diabetic ketoacidosis

Ahmed M. Yassin, Sheetal Shroff, Shreshta D. Patel, Asif M. Paker, Megan A. Berman, George R. Jackson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: Chorea is a common presenting feature of metabolic disorders, including nonketotic hyperglycemia in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, but rarely has been reported in diabetic ketoacidosis, hypothyroidism and vitamin B12 deficiency. Methods: Review the literature for reported cases of chorea as a presenting manifestation in metabolic disorders. Results: We report a case of hemichorea in a patient with type 2 diabetes mellitus complicated by diabetic ketoacidosis. The patient had a two day history of right sided hemichorea and decreased level of consciousness. Initial laboratory studies revealed hyperglycemia, ketosis and an anion gap metabolic acidosis consistent with diabetic ketoacidosis. Once treatment was started the choreiform movements significantly improved over three weeks. Conclusion: Although DKA has been rarely reported as a trigger for chorea, it should be in the differential diagnosis of a patient presenting with an acute chorea. Given the reversible nature of this disease, early recognition and treatment are imperative.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-191
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jul 15 2014


  • Basal ganglia
  • Chorea
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Non-ketotic hyperglycemia
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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