Lithium Toxicity Questions & Answers

Updated: Aug 21, 2018
  • Author: David C Lee, MD; Chief Editor: Michael A Miller, MD  more...
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Questions & Answers

Overview

What is lithium toxicity and how does it occur?

How is lithium toxicity categorized?

How should lithium levels be measured in the evaluation of lithium toxicity?

How is lithium toxicity treated?

What is the history of lithium use?

Which organ systems are affected by lithium toxicity?

What is the pathogenesis of lithium toxicity?

What is the half-life of lithium?

What is the incidence of lithium toxicity in the US?

What is the mortality or morbidity associated with lithium toxicity?

How does the incidence of lithium toxicity vary by age?

Presentation

What is the focus of clinical history in suspected lithium toxicity?

What are the signs and symptoms of each lithium toxicity category?

Which drug classes are potential precipitants of lithium toxicity?

What are the systemic effects of lithium toxicity?

What are the neurologic effects of lithium toxicity?

What are the GI effects of lithium toxicity?

Which physical findings are characteristic of lithium toxicity?

DDX

What are the differential diagnoses for Lithium Toxicity?

Workup

What is the role of lab studies in the workup of lithium toxicity?

What is the role of imaging studies in the workup of lithium toxicity?

Which electrocardiography findings are characteristic of lithium toxicity?

Treatment

What is included in prehospital care for lithium toxicity?

What is the initial treatment for lithium toxicity?

When is GI decontamination indicated in the emergency department (ED) care for lithium toxicity?

What is the role of fluid therapy in the emergency department (ED) treatment of lithium toxicity?

When is hemodialysis indicated in the treatment of lithium toxicity?

When are extracorporeal treatments indicated for lithium toxicity?

What is the role of continuous venovenous hemofiltration (CVVH) in the treatment of lithium toxicity?

Which specialist consultations are required for the treatment of lithium toxicity?

Medications

What is the goal of therapy for lithium toxicity?

Which medications in the drug class GI decontaminants are used in the treatment of Lithium Toxicity?

Follow-up

When may patients with lithium toxicity be discharged?

When is hospital admission indicated in the treatment of lithium toxicity?

When is transfer indicated in the treatment of lithium toxicity?

What are potential complications of lithium toxicity?

What is the prognosis in lithium toxicity?