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2020 Jul 21




A Case Report on Metformin-Associated Lactic Acidosis and Transient Blindness.


Kalantri P, Sahu A, Kalantri A
Cureus. 2020 Jul 21; 12(7):e9325.
PMID: 32850203.


Metformin is the first-line treatment for any patient with type 2 diabetes. Metformin-associated lactic acidosis and transient blindness have only been reported in some case series and case reports. It is rare and presents especially in patients with underlying chronic kidney disease (CKD) Stage III and above and on high doses of metformin or with a normal dose of metformin and an associated renal injury. We present here a rare and interesting case of something similar. A 77-year-old woman with a past medical history of type 2 diabetes on metformin, obesity status post gastric bypass, CKD Stage III, presented with complaints of nausea, vomiting, confusion, abdominal pain, diarrhea, decreased urine output, sudden visual loss, and a hypoglycemic episode at home. She was hemodynamically stable. Lab work was suggestive of leukocytosis, hyperkalemia, severe high anion gap metabolic and lactic acidosis, acute-on-chronic kidney injury. Findings on the computed tomography (CT) brain, chest radiograph, and CT abdomen and pelvis could not explain the current scenario. She received Ringer's lactate, a bicarbonate push, and an infusion. Acidosis continued to worsen, she became hypotensive requiring pressor support, and she was immediately taken for hemodialysis. All her symptoms, including vision loss, had improved with a single session of hemodialysis, even before the acidosis had corrected. Work-up for other causes of renal dysfunction came back negative. Metformin was discontinued. She was placed on insulin for her diabetes control.