Intravenous lipid emulsion in clinical toxicology
journal contributionposted on 11.05.2011, 00:00 by Leelach Rothschild, Sarah Bern, Sarah Oswald, Guy Weinberg
Intravenous lipid emulsion is an established, effective treatment for local anesthetic-induced cardiovascular collapse. The predominant theory for its mechanism of action is that by creating an expanded, intravascular lipid phase, equilibria are established that drive the offending drug from target tissues into the newly formed ‘lipid sink’. Based on this hypothesis, lipid emulsion has been considered a candidate for generic reversal of toxicity caused by overdose of any lipophilic drug. Recent case reports of successful resuscitation suggest the efficacy of lipid emulsion infusion for treating non-local anesthetic overdoses across a wide spectrum of drugs: beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, parasiticides, herbicides and several varieties of psychotropic agents. Lipid emulsion therapy is gaining acceptance in emergency rooms and other critical care settings as a possible treatment for lipophilic drug toxicity. While protocols exist for administration of lipid emulsion in the setting of local anesthetic toxicity, no optimal regimen has been established for treatment of acute non-local anesthetic poisonings. Future studies will shape the evolving recommendations for lipid emulsion in the setting of non-local anesthetic drug overdose.