Journal of Clinical Medicine (2019-12-01)

Selective ß2-Adrenoceptor Agonists and Relevant Hyperlactatemia: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

  • Alina G. Liedtke,
  • Sebastiano A. G. Lava,
  • Gregorio P. Milani,
  • Carlo Agostoni,
  • Viola Gilardi,
  • Mario G. Bianchetti,
  • Giorgio Treglia,
  • Pietro B. Faré

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 9, no. 1
p. 71


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Selective ß2-agonists have been imputed as potential cause of l-hyperlactatemia since the 1970s. To document the prevalence of hyperlactatemia associated with selective ß2-agonists and to investigate the predisposing factors, we searched for published articles until April 2019 pertaining to the interplay of administration of selective ß2-agonists and circulating l-lactic acid in the Excerpta Medica, Web of Science, and the U.S. National Library of Medicine databases. Out of the 1834 initially retrieved records, 56 articles were included: 42 papers reporting individual cases, 2 observational studies, and 12 clinical trials. Forty-seven individual patients receiving a selective ß2-agonist were found to have l-lactatemia ≥5.0 mmol/L, which decreased by ≥3.0 mmol/L or to ≤2.5 mmol/L after discontinuing (N = 24), reducing (N = 17) or without modifying the dosage of the selective ß2-agonist (N = 6). Clinical trials found that l-lactic acid significantly increased in healthy volunteers administered a ß2-agonist. l-lactatemia ≥5.0 mmol/L was observed in 103 (24%) out of 426 patients with asthma or preterm labor managed with a selective ß2-agonist and was more common in patients with asthma (30%) than in premature labor (5.9%). A significant relationship was also noted between l-lactate level and intravenous albuterol dose or its circulating level. In conclusion, relevant l-hyperlactatemia is common on high dose treatment with a selective ß2-agonist.