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Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2011 Nov;49(9):801-9. doi: 10.3109/15563650.2011.617308. Epub 2011 Oct 7.

Partition constant and volume of distribution as predictors of clinical efficacy of lipid rescue for toxicological emergencies.

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Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94107, USA.



Lipid infusion is useful in reversing cardiac toxicity of local anesthetics, and recent reports indicate it may be useful in resuscitation from toxicity induced by a variety of other drugs. While the mechanism behind the utility of lipid rescue remains to be fully elucidated, the predominant effect appears to be creation of a "lipid sink".


Determine whether the extraction of drugs by lipid, and hence the clinical efficacy of lipid rescue in toxicological emergencies can be predicted by specific drug properties.


Each drug investigated was added individually to human drug-free serum. Intralipid® was added to this drug-containing serum, shaken and then incubated at 37°C. The lipid was removed by ultracentrifugation and the concentration of drug remaining in the serum was measured by high-pressure liquid chromatography.


In this in vitro model, the ability of lipid emulsion to bind a drug was largely dependent upon the drug's lipid partition constant. Additionally, using a multiple linear regression model, the prediction of binding could be improved by combining the lipid partition constant with the volume of distribution together accounting for approximately 88% of the variation in the decrease in serum drug concentration with the administration of lipid emulsion.


The lipid partition constant and volume of distribution can likely be used to predict the efficacy of lipid infusion in reversing the cardiac toxicity induced by anesthetics or other medications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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