Treatment of Metformin-Associated Lactic Acidosis With Closed Recirculation Bicarbonate-Buffered Hemodialysis

Jean-Marc Chalopin, MD; Yves Tanter, MD; Jean-Francois Besancenot, MD; Jean-Francois Cabanne, MD; Gérard Rifle, MD
Arch Intern Med. 1984;144(1):203-205. doi:10.1001/archinte.1984.00350130235049.
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To the Editor.  —The use of massive amounts of intravenous (IV) sodium bicarbonate in the management of lactic acidosis seems necessary as soon as the acidosis becomes severe.1 However, some patients have an apparent resistance to this alkali therapy.2 In addition, intensive administration of sodium bicarbonate carries the combined risks of volume and sodium overload. Several authors tried hemodialysis (HD) or peritoneal dialysis (PD) but, most of the time, the precarious hemodynamic state of these patients limits the use of conventional HD.3,4 The new possibilities allowing the use of dialysate containing bicarbonate in HD have led us to try this method in the case of a metformin-treated diabetic with severe lactic acidosis.5

Report of a Case.  —A 64-year-old woman was admitted to the hospital in severe shock. Despite chronic renal failure (serum creatinine level of 300 μmoles/L, she was given 1,700 mg/day of metformin for six


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