Successful Treatment of Severe Digitoxin Intoxication with CytoSorb® Hemoadsorption

Link to article at PubMed

Blood Purif. 2020 Sep 16:1-4. doi: 10.1159/000510292. Online ahead of print.


While several intoxications can be successfully treated with specific antidotes, intoxications with the steroid glycoside digitoxin still represent a major challenge. Besides conventional approaches, CytoSorb® hemoadsorption might be another treatment option. We report on an 81-year-old female patient treated in our intensive care unit (ICU) with severe digitoxin intoxication, acute renal failure, and urinary tract infection (UTI). As physiological digitoxin elimination kinetics are known to appear slow, and also in regard to the renal failure, the decision was made to initiate continuous renal replacement therapy combined with CytoSorb hemoadsorption. The patient was hemodynamically stabilized within the first 4 h of treatment and initially required catecholamines to be stopped within 24 h of treatment. Pre- and post-adsorber drug level measurements showed a rapid elimination of digitoxin. Antibiotic treatment with piperacillin/tazobactam was initiated, and despite CytoSorb hemoadsorption therapy and its known potential to reduce plasma concentrations of several drugs, the UTI was successfully treated. After 3 days of CytoSorb treatment, digitoxin plasma levels were stable and almost normalized, and no clinical signs of intoxication were present. Five days after presentation, the patient was transferred from the ICU in a stable condition. CytoSorb hemoadsorption may be an easily available, efficient, and less cost-intensive therapy option than treatment with the Fab fragment, which is the currently recommended therapy for digitalis intoxications. Therefore, the use of CytoSorb might represent an alternative treatment for life-threatening complications of digitoxin intoxications.

PMID:32937619 | DOI:10.1159/000510292

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