UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Toxicology

Title: Lipid Emulsion's Effect on Labs

Keywords: laboratory, lipid, toxicology (PubMed Search)

Posted: 12/10/2015 by Bryan Hayes, PharmD
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The American Academy of Clinical Toxicology's Lipid Emulsion workgroup has published its first of 4 systematic reviews on the use of lipid emulsion in toxicology, this one on lipid's effect on laboratory analyses. [1] As expected, administering a fat bolus can significantly alter labs drawn subsequently.

The key point: If you are considering lipid for overdose, draw labs prior to giving it.

Which labs are affected? Most. Here's a helpful mnemonic courtesy of Dr. Kyle DeWitt.

  • B - Blood Gas
  • L - Liver transaminases
  • E - Electrolytes
  • A - Analgesics (acetaminophen, salicylates)
  • C - Coags
  • H - H/H, platelets

Also remember to give lipid in its own line. It isn't compatable with most resuscitation drugs. [2]


  1. Grunbaum AM, et al. Review of the effect of intravenous lipid emulsion on laboratory analyses. Clin Toxicol 2015 Dec 1:1-11. [Epub ahead of print, PMID 26623668]
  2. Cocchio C, et al. Physiochemical Stability of Intravenous Fat Emulsion in Combination with Medications Used for Resuscitation. SOJ Pharm PharmSci 2014;1(1):3. (open access)

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