Emergent Hemodialysis Followed by Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy: A Management Challenge in a Patient With Life-Threatening Metabolic Acidosis of Multifactorial Etiology

Amman Yousaf, Bilal Malik, Basel Abdelazeem, Arvind Kunadi
Curēus 2022, 14 (3): e23689
35505729
Metabolic acidosis is a frequently encountered laboratory finding in daily clinical practice. Rapid pH correction is almost always preferred and necessary while performing workup to identify the causative factors. We present the case of a 73-year-old male presenting with progressive dyspnea and severe metabolic acidosis. He had a pH of 6.6, bicarbonate of 1.8 mg/dL, lactic acid of 18.1 mg/dL, and pCO2 of 14.1 mmHg. The intensivist and nephrologist made a joint decision to rapidly correct the pH using bicarbonate and emergent hemodialysis. Subsequently, continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) was started, leading to a favorable outcome. Our patient's most likely etiology of lactic acidosis was metformin because he had a very high lactic acid, high anion gap metabolic acidosis, and acute renal failure on presentation. From our case and literature review, we suggest using hemodialysis, CRRT, and bicarbonate replacement for a better prognosis in patients with critical acidosis in view of frank renal failure and concurrent metformin use.

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