Liquorice-induced severe hypokalemic rhabdomyolysis with Gitelman syndrome and diabetes: A case report.


Department of Endocrinology, First Hospital of Shanxi Medical University, Shanxi Medical University, Taiyuan 030001, Shanxi Province, China. [Email]


BACKGROUND : Licorice-induced severe hypokalemic rhabdomyolysis is clinically rare. Gitelman syndrome (GS) is the most common inherited renal tubular disease, while diabetes is one of the most prevalent diseases in the world. Recently, some studies have found that GS patients had higher diabetic morbidity. However, the coexistence of these three diseases has yet to be reported.
METHODS : We report the case of a 62-year-old Chinese man who was admitted with weakness in the extremities, muscle pain, and dark-colored urine. He had consumed liquorice water daily for seven days prior to admission. The laboratory tests revealed a serum potassium level of 1.84 mmol/L, magnesium 0.68 mmol/L, creatinine phosphokinase (CK) 10117 IU/L, and marked hemoglobinuria. Fractional chloride excretion and fractional magnesium excretion were increased. Plasma renin activity and aldosterone concentration were within the normal ranges. Sequence analysis of the SLC12A3 gene revealed that he had compound heterozygous mutations. The diagnosis of liquorice-induced severe hypokalemic rhabdomyolysis with GS and diabetes was thus genetically confirmed. Serum potassium and CK quickly improved with potassium replacement therapy, hydration, and discontinuation of liquorice ingestion. Upon follow-up at 3 mo, the levels of CK, myoglobin, and potassium remained normal, and magnesium was above 0.6 mmol/L.
CONCLUSIONS : This case emphasizes that liquorice consumption and GS should be considered causes of hypokalemia and that the diabetic status of GS patients should be noted in the clinic.


Case report,Diabetes,Gitelman syndrome,Hypokalemia,Liquorice,Rhabdomyolysis,

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