Non-cardiogenic pulmonary oedema can be life threatening and requires prompt treatment. While gadolinium-based contrast is generally considered safe with a low risk of severe side effects, non-cardiogenic pulmonary oedema has become increasingly recognised as a rare, but possibly life-threatening complication. We present a case of a usually well, young 23-year-old female who developed non-cardiogenic pulmonary oedema with a moderate oxygenation impairment and no mucosal or cutaneous features of anaphylaxis following the administration of gadolinium-based contrast. She did not respond to treatment of anaphylaxis but made a rapid recovery following the commencement of positive pressure ventilation. Our case highlights the importance of recognising the rare complication of non-cardiogenic pulmonary oedema following gadolinium-based contrast administration in order to promptly implement the appropriate treatment.
Pyruvate dehydrogenase complex deficiency (PDCD) is a rare neurodegenerative disorder associated with abnormal mitochondrial metabolism. Structural brain abnormalities are common in PDCD. A case of a patient with PDCD with an unusual presentation is described. A 20-month-old boy with hypotonia and developmental delay, presented with hypoxia and respiratory distress due to bronchiolitis. During hospitalisation, he was prescribed PediaSure® feeds. Two days after starting these feeds, he developed respiratory arrest requiring intubation. His blood gas before arrest revealed lactate of 8.9 mmol/L despite normal haemodynamics. After stabilisation and a period of compulsory fasting, subsequent feeding with PediaSure® resulted in the recurrence of lactic acidosis. A metabolic workup revealed an elevated serum pyruvate level. Brain MRI was normal. Skeletal muscle biopsy confirmed PDCD. The most common cause of PDCD is a mutation in the X-linked PDHA1 gene. The severity of PDCD can range from neonatal death to more delayed onset of symptoms as in our index case. Normal brain MRI is reported in only 2% of patients with PDCD. There is no effective treatment for PDCD. In patients with proximal muscle weakness and feeding intolerance with glucose-containing feeds, the presence of lactic acidosis should raise the suspicion of PDCD irrespective of the patient’s age and normal MRI.