Metformin intoxication: Vasopressin's key role in the management of severe lactic acidosis

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Abstract

Vasopressin is a potent vasopressor used for improving organ perfusion during cardiac arrest, septic and catecholamine-resistant shock; with reference to this, it is useful for the treatment of vasoplegic shock because, restoring organ perfusion pressure by contraction of vascular smooth muscle through a non-catecholamine receptor pathway, it can be employed when catecholamines are ineffective.

A 49-yr-old woman was admitted to the Emergency Department after having intentionally taken 95.2 g of metformin, 1.6 g of pioglitazone and 40 UI of insulin glargine in a suicide attempt. Despite fluid resuscitation, CVVHDF (continuous veno-venous hemodiafiltration) treatment, norepinephrine and epinephrine infusion, she developed a severe lactic acidosis and a catecholamines-refractive vasodilatory shock. Only the vasopressin infusion, in association with catecholamines, gradually stabilized the patient's hemodynamic status.

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