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01.12.2016 | Case report | Ausgabe 1/2016 Open Access

Journal of Medical Case Reports 1/2016

Metabolic acidosis and 5-oxoprolinuria induced by flucloxacillin and acetaminophen: a case report

Journal of Medical Case Reports > Ausgabe 1/2016
Charlotte Lanoy, Yves Bouckaert



Frequent causes of high anion gap metabolic acidosis are well known: ethanol, methanol, and ethylene glycol intoxication; hyperglycemia; lactic or D-lactic acidosis; and impaired renal function. There are other causes, less frequent but also important. This report illustrates a rare case of a patient with increased anion gap metabolic acidosis due to a deficit of the γ-glutamyl cycle that led to 5-oxoproline (acid pyroglutamic) accumulation.

Case presentation

An 82-year-old white woman was admitted to our intensive care unit because of septic shock caused by right knee methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus-induced arthritis. She was treated for 10 days with flucloxacillin and rifampicin and developed metabolic acidosis with high anion gap. Her test results for methanol, ethanol, ethylene glycol, and acetylsalicylic acid were negative. Her glycemia, lactate level, and renal function were normal. However, the result of a urinary assay for pyroglutamate was positive. We concluded that the patient had metabolic acidosis induced by accumulation of 5-oxoproline. We modified her antibiotic treatment, administered acetylcysteine, and her acidosis resolved.


5-Oxoprolinuria (pyroglutamic acid accumulation) is a rare, probably underdiagnosed cause of transient metabolic acidosis with increased anion gap.

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