The lithium toxic patient in the medical hospital: diagnostic and management dilemmas.
OBJECTIVE: Patients with lithium toxicity can pose difficulties in diagnosis and management in the general hospital setting. The authors examined patients who were referred to the Psychiatric Consultation-Liaison Service with suspicion of lithium overdose to delineate and characterize medical and psychiatric risk factors for toxicity and to follow the course and resolution of their toxicity.
METHOD: The authors reviewed the charts of patients with lithium levels > 1.5 mEq/L who were admitted consecutively to a general hospital over an 18-month period.
RESULTS: Of twelve patients, eight were found to have developed lithium toxicity due to incidental and iatrogenic factors. These patients presented with a variety of confusing signs and symptoms. Hypothyroidism and coexisting organic illness contributed to the lack of clarity in their clinical picture.
CONCLUSION: The widening scope of indication for lithium therapy leads to increased risk of toxic reactions which challenge the diagnostic skills of the consulting psychiatrist in a general hospital setting.
International journal of psychiatry in medicine
Ramchandani, D., & Schindler, B. (1993). The lithium toxic patient in the medical hospital: diagnostic and management dilemmas.. International journal of psychiatry in medicine, 23 (1), 55-62. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.2190/jd8y-xvuk-a5kj-5b62