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Saudi Journal of Kidney Diseases and Transplantation
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CASE REPORT Table of Contents   
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 764-768
Severe hypoglycemia in peritoneal dialysis patients due to overestimation of blood glucose by the point-of-care glucometer


1 Intensive Care Department, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, King Abdulaziz Medical City, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Nephrology, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, King Abdulaziz Medical City, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
3 Department of Endocrinology, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, King Abdulaziz Medical City, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Yaseen M Arabi
FCCM Chairman - Intensive Care Department, Associate Professor - College of Medicine, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz, University for Health Sciences, King Abdulaziz Medical City, P.O. Box 22490, Riyadh, 11426
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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PMID: 21743225

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Although overestimation of blood glucose (BG) by certain glucometers in peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients has been reported, awareness of this problem by healthcare providers of multiple disciplines and different specialties is probably insufficient. This is a case series of four patients who had severe symptomatic hypoglycemia and normal BG by point-of-care glucometer at a tertiary care center from December 2007 to September 2008. We report four insulin-treated diabetic patients (age = 58.2 ± 16.2 years, 3 men and 1 woman) on PD, who had acute decrease in level of consciousness in the emergency department (n = 1) and the hospital ward (n = 3). While they had their symptoms, they all had normal BG measured by the Accuchek glucometer (7.1 ± 3.3 mmol/L); nonetheless, simultaneous or near-simultaneous laboratory-measured BG levels were very low (2.0 ± 1.3 mmol/L). The mean difference in BG was 5.8 mmol/L (12 simultaneous or near-simultaneous measurements). Three patients had icodextrin-based PD in the night before symptomatic hypoglycemia. The first two patients, whose treatment for hypoglycemia was delayed, remained comatose and died later. The latter two patients were promptly treated with intravenous dextrose and did not have any neurologic sequelae. One of them died later from multiple organ failure. Over-estimation of BG in peritoneal dialysis patients by certain point-of-care glucometers is a serious problem and can be fatal. Increased awareness of this problem for all healthcare providers and use of appropriate glucometers are required.


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