Reversal of lethal citrate intoxication by intravenous infusion of calcium. An experimental study in pigs

C Vagianos, Stig Steen, P Masson, Thomas Fåhraeus, Trygve Sjöberg, J Kugelberg, Jan Otto Solem

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Intravenous infusions of 750 and 1000 ml 2.2% sodium citrate were given over a 60 min period to 17 pigs to study its effect on aortic pressure, electrocardiogram, ionised calcium, and citrate clearance. In group 1 (seven pigs) the animals did not receive calcium and the median survival time was 30 min (range 20-70 min). In groups 2 and 3 (five in each group) the pigs were treated with calcium chloride infusions (1 ml 10% calcium chloride to 10 ml citrate) and they all survived. In group 1 the ionised calcium concentrations in blood fell to values below 0.4 mmol/l, after which the blood pressure dropped abruptly. In the animals treated with calcium the mean ionised calcium concentration fell to 0.6 mmol/l, whereas total calcium increased to more than 7 mmol/l. The aortic pressure was consistently within normal values in the groups treated with calcium, but in the group that was not treated the blood pressure fell dramatically. There was no correlation between electrocardiographic changes and ionised calcium concentrations. In summary, calcium was an effective antidote to lethal citrate intoxication, and the only reliable method of determining the necessary dose of calcium was monitoring of ionised calcium concentrations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)671-675
JournalActa Chirurgica Scandinavica
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1990

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems
  • Surgery


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