Ketoacidosis (diabetic ketoacidosis - DKA) is a metabolic state caused by uncontrolled production of ketone bodies that cause a metabolic acidosis. Ketoacidosis is a specific pathologic condition that results in changes in decrease in blood pH, hyperglycemia, dehydration. A lack of insulin in the bloodstream allows unregulated fatty acid release from adipose tissue which increases fatty acid oxidation to acetyl CoA, some of which is diverted to ketogenesis. This raises ketone levels significantly above what is seen in normal physiology.
The clinical state of DKA is associated, in addition to the above, with the release of various counterregulatory hormones such as glucagon and adrenaline as well as cytokines, the latter of which leads to increased markers of inflammation, even in the absence of infection.