The use of sustained low efficiency dialysis (SLED) in massive paracetamol overdose

Anselm Wong, Roger Lien-Kien Tong, Liam Ryan, Tim Crozier, Andis Graudins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Context: Massive paracetamol ingestion causing mitochondrial dysfunction is uncommon. Use of sustained low-efficiency dialysis (SLED) to improve acidaemia and enhance paracetamol elimination has not been previously described. Case details: A 44-year-old male presented to the emergency department 2.5 hours post overdose of 200 g (2.5 g/kg) of paracetamol. Examination revealed a BP 85/60 mmHg, pulse 112 bpm, temperature 33.9 °C and blood glucose of 13.9 mmol/l. Venous blood gas 5.5-hours post-ingestion showed a pH 6.9, pCO2 58 mmHg, HCO3 13 mmol/l and lactate 14 mmol/l. Fifty-grams of nasogastric activated charcoal and double-strength intravenous acetylcysteine were administered. Paracetamol concentration peaked at 4207 µmol/l six hours post-ingestion. SLED was commenced nine-hours post ingestion and acetylcysteine dose was doubled again during dialysis. Paracetamol extraction ratio was 47–52%. Plasma paracetamol clearance was steady throughout SLED (53–58 ml/min). Hepatotoxicity did not develop and the patient recovered. Discussions: Intermittent hemodialysis (IHD) is more efficient than SLED or continuous renal replacement therapy for enhancing paracetamol elimination and clearance. IHD plasma clearance is reported to range from 36 to 215 ml/min compared with endogenous clearance of 224 ml/70 kg/min. Conclusions: SLED improved acidaemia with only moderate overall increase in paracetamol plasma clearance. Lack of development of hepatotoxicity was likely the result of early administration of acetylcysteine rather than any effect of SLED on paracetamol elimination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-231
Number of pages3
JournalClinical Toxicology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2018


  • dialysis
  • metabolic
  • Paracetamol

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