Clinical Experience with Intravenous Lipid Emulsion for Drug-Induced Cardiovascular Collapse

Ann Jeannette Geib, Erica Liebelt, Alex F. Manini

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Intravenous lipid emulsion (ILE) is an emerging therapy for refractory cardiotoxicity due to lipid-soluble drugs. The purpose of this study was to assess survival to hospital discharge, effects on hemodynamic parameters, and adverse event occurrence for patients who were treated with ILE as part of the resuscitative effort for drug-induced cardiotoxicity. This is a multicenter retrospective chart review of inpatients at three tertiary referral medical centers receiving ILE for drug-induced cardiotoxicity between November 2007 and March 2009. Nine cases with drug-induced cardiovascular collapse, defined as cardiac arrest or refractory shock, were selected for review if patients received either bolus or infusion of ILE in any combination. No interventions were done. The main outcome measures were survival to hospital discharge, effect on hemodynamic parameters, and adverse event. Hemodynamic vital signs (heart rate, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, calculated mean arterial pressure [MAP]) were measured before administration of ILE and up to five measurements (if available) were recorded after administration of ILE. Attribution of adverse events was determined by assignment of Naranjo adverse drug reaction (ADR) likelihood score (3) with adjudication of three medical toxicologists; disagreements were settled by majority consensus. Of nine cases identified based on inclusion criteria (three cardiac arrest, six refractory shock), five (55%) survived to hospital discharge. ILE regimens were bolus alone in five patients and bolus plus infusion in four patients. Hemodynamic trends in response to ILE demonstrated no difference in MAP immediately pre-and post-administration of ILE (p=NS). Administration of infusion (versus boluses alone) did not demonstrate a statistically significant improvement in MAP. Adverse events due to ILE therapy that were categorized as "possible" or "probable" based on Naranjo scores included lipemia, digit amputation, lung injury, renal failure, and deep venous thrombosis. ILE administered to patients with drug-induced cardiovascular collapse was associated with 55% survival but with clinically significant adverse effects. At this time, ILE should be restricted to cardiotoxicity involving cardiac arrest or refractory shock until further prospective studies can better evaluate risks and benefits of ILE therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-14
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Medical Toxicology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2012


  • Cardiac arrest
  • Lipid therapy
  • Poisoning


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