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HOME > J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol > Volume 11(1); 2013 > Article
Delayed Continuous Venovenous Hemodiafiltration in Chronic Lithium Intoxication
Tae Su Kim, Yong Sung Cha, Hyun Kim, Oh Hyun Kim, Kyoung Chul Cha, Kang Hyun Lee, Sung Oh Hwang
Journal of The Korean Society of Clinical Toxicology 2013;11(1):28-30
DOI: https://doi.org/
Published online: June 30, 2013
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1Department of Emergency Medicine, Wonju College of Medicine, Yonsei University
2Department of Emergency Medicine, Wonju College of Medicine, Yonsei University
3Department of Emergency Medicine, Wonju College of Medicine, Yonsei University
4Department of Emergency Medicine, Wonju College of Medicine, Yonsei University
5Department of Emergency Medicine, Wonju College of Medicine, Yonsei University
6Department of Emergency Medicine, Wonju College of Medicine, Yonsei University
7Department of Emergency Medicine, Wonju College of Medicine, Yonsei University

A 66-year-old male with chronic alcoholism presented with tremor, gait disturbance, memory impairment, insomnia, decreased appetite, and confusion. The patient had been taking lithium daily for treatment of bipolar disorder. Brain CT showed no specific abnormality, and serum lithium and ammonia levels were 3.63 mEq/L (therapeutic range, 0.6~1.2 mEq/L) and $85{mu}g/dL$ (reference range: $19{sim}54{mu}g/dL$), respectively. Therefore, the initial differential diagnosis included chronic lithium intoxication, hepatic encephalopathy, Wernicke encephalopathy, or alcohol withdrawal syndrome. Even with the provision of adequate hydration, the patient's neurologic status did not show improvement, so that lactulose enema, thiamine replacement, and continuous venovenous hemodiafiltration (CVVHDF) were started on the third admission day. By the fifth admission day he had made a rapid neurologic recovery, and was discharged on the 20th admission day. Therefore, CVVHDF might be a treatment for patients with chronic lithium intoxication, because, even if serum lithium concentration is normal, lithium concentration in the brain may be different from that of the serum.

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