Extracorporeal treatment of metforminassociated lactic acidosis in clinical practice: A retrospective cohort study

Inge R F van Berlo-van de Laar*, Cornelis G Vermeij, Marjo van den Elsen-Hutten, Arthur de Meijer, Katja Taxis, Frank G A Jansman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Purpose To assess whether extracorporeal treatment (ECTR) improves outcome of patients with metformin-associated lactic acidosis (MALA) and to evaluate the clinical applicability of the Extracorporeal Treatments in Poisoning Workgroup (EXTRIP) criteria for starting ECTR in metformin poisoning. Methods Patients with metformin serum concentrations above 2 mg/l who were admitted in the Deventer Teaching Hospital between January 2000 and July 2019 and complied with the definition of MALA (pH <7.35 and lactate concentration > 5 mmol/l) were included. Mortality and clinical parameters of patients treated with ECTR or not were compared. In addition, treatment of MALA in clinical practice was verified against the criteria of EXTRIP. Results Forty-two patients were included. Lactate (13.8 versus 10.5 mmol/l, p = 0.01), creatinine (575 versus 254 umol/l, p <0.01)), metformin (29.4 versus 8.6 mg/l, p <0.01) concentrations, and vasopressor requirement (72% versus 23%, p <0.01) were significantly higher in the ECTR-group. Blood pH (7.05 versus 7.19, p = 0.03) and bicarbonate (6 versus 11 mmol/l, p <0.01) were significantly lower. Mortality, length of hospital stay, and mechanical ventilation requirement were not statistically different. In 83% of patients, treatment of MALA was in accordance with the EXTRIP criteria. Conclusions Although there was no statistical benefit in mortality shown from ECTR, ECTR might be lifesaving in MALA, considering the ECTR-group was significantly sicker than the non-ECTR-group. The majority of patients were treated in line with the EXTRIP criteria. Severity of lactic acidosis and renal impairment were the main indications for initiating ECTR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)815-820
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Issue number6
Early online date2020
Publication statusPublished - Jun-2020


  • Metformin
  • Lactic acidosis
  • Extracorporeal treatment
  • Renal impairment

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