The Association of Hypophosphatemia With Resistant Lactic Acidosis in Critical Care Illness

Amr Essa, Omar Kousa, Dana Awad, Makenzi Stevenson, Bradley DeVrieze, Douglas Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Critically ill patients are known to have a variety of electrolyte abnormalities. Lactic acidosis can frequently be seen secondary to shock states and is usually treated with aggressive volume resuscitation. Interestingly, hypophosphatemia is a potential cause of resistant lactic acidosis, which may not be as commonly identified or considered. We present a case of a 42-year-old man admitted twice over a span of 6 months with an elevated lactate level that did not resolve with volume resuscitation. It was ultimately determined that his lactic acidosis was due to hypophosphatemia after ruling out other potential causes. Phosphate replacement therapy resulted in the normalization of his lactate. In the literature, multiple theories have indicated the association of hypophosphatemia with lactic acidosis though no prior cases exist supporting a direct relationship. In this case, we set forth to evaluate the complicated relationship between all of these factors and to highlight the importance of early detection and treatment of hypophosphatemia, which may be beneficial in treating lactic acidosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Investigative Medicine High Impact Case Reports
StatePublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Safety Research


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