Those Salicylate Cases—How Sweet Are They?

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Abstract

Owing to the complex metabolism of salicylates, both hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia have been reported with salicylate poisoning. The aim of this study was to characterize this relationship. Data from the Illinois Poison Center were retrospectively queried over a 5-year period (2008–2012), and patients with a salicylate concentration ≥30 mg/dL were included. Hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia were defined as glucose concentrations <55 and >140 mg/dL, respectively. Of the 160 patients included, most were normoglycemic (81%) and 19% were hyperglycemic. No patient experienced hypoglycemia. Our study indicates that hypoglycemia may be a very rare occurrence in the setting of salicylate poisoning. Clinicians must remain vigilant, regardless of the glucose concentration, when entertaining salicylism as an etiology in appropriate patients.

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