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Am J Cardiol. 2013 Feb 1;111(3):445-7. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2012.10.022. Epub 2012 Nov 24.

Usefulness of intravenous lipid emulsion for cardiac toxicity from cocaine overdose.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit Medical Center, Michigan, USA.


The investigators describe the clinical course of a 26-year-old-man who was brought to the emergency department in a comatose state with status epilepticus after smoking a large amount of crack cocaine. In the emergency department, he was intubated because of depressed mental status and respiratory acidosis. His troponin I remained negative, and electrocardiography showed wide-complex tachycardia with a prolonged corrected QT interval. Because of the corrected QT interval prolongation and wide-complex tachycardia, the patient was started on intravenous magnesium sulfate and sodium bicarbonate. Despite these interventions, no improvement in cardiac rhythm was observed, and electrocardiography continued to show wide-complex tachycardia. The patient became more unstable from a cardiovascular standpoint, with a decrease in blood pressure to 85/60 mm Hg. He was then given 100 ml of 20% lipid emulsion (Intralipid). Within 10 minutes of starting the infusion of 20% lipid emulsion, wide-complex tachycardia disappeared, with an improvement in systemic blood pressure to 120/70 mm Hg. Repeat electrocardiography after the infusion of intravenous lipid emulsion showed regular sinus rhythm with normal QRS and corrected QT intervals. The patient was successfully extubated on day 8 of hospitalization and discharged home on day 10. His cardiac rhythm and blood pressure remained stable throughout his further stay in the hospital.

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