High anion gap metabolic acidosis

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High anion gap metabolic acidosis
Cat mudpiles - causes of high anion-gap metabolic acidosis.svg
Classification and external resources
Specialty endocrinology
ICD-10 E87.2
ICD-9-CM 276.2
DiseasesDB 15112

High anion gap metabolic acidosis is a form of metabolic acidosis characterized by a high anion gap, which might be considered to be > 11 mEq/L.

The list of agents that cause high anion gap metabolic acidosis is similar to but broader than the list of agents that cause a serum osmolal gap.

High Anion Gap Metabolic acidosis is caused generally by the body producing too much acid or not producing enough bicarbonate. This is often an increase in lactic acid or ketoacids, or a sign of kidney failure, and more rarely may be caused by ingesting methanol or overdosing on aspirin.[1][2] The Delta Ratio is a formula that can be used to assess elevated anion gap metabolic acidosis and to evaluate whether mixed acid base disorder (metabolic acidosis) is present.


Causes include:

The newest mnemonic was proposed in The Lancet reflecting current causes of anion gap metabolic acidosis: [3]

The mnemonic MUDPILES is commonly used to remember the causes of increased anion gap metabolic acidosis.[4][5]

Another frequently used mnemonic is KARMEL.

Another frequently used mnemonic is KUPIN.

The mnemonic for the [rare, in comparison] toxins is ACE GIFTs: Aspirin, Cyanide, Ethanolic ketosis, Glycols [ ethylene and propylene ], Isoniazid, Ferrous iron, Toluene. Most of these cause a lactic acidosis.[6]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Anion Gap (Blood)". University of Rochester Medical Center. Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  2. ^ Sabatini, S; Kurtzman, NA (2009). "Bicarbonate Therapy in Severe Metabolic Acidosis". Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 20 (4): 692–695. doi:10.1681/asn.2007121329. 
  3. ^ Mehta, Ankit. "GOLD MARK: an anion gap mnemonic for the 21st century". Lancet 372 (9642): 892. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(08)61398-7. PMID 18790311. 
  4. ^ MedicalMnemonics.com: 1203 3255
  5. ^ Anion Gap: Acid Base Tutorial, University of Connecticut Health Center
  6. ^ Reid, Hugh. "Dr". unpublished. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  7. ^ Chang CT, Chen YC, Fang JT, Huang CC (September 2002). "High anion gap metabolic acidosis in suicide: don't forget metformin intoxication--two patients' experiences". Ren Fail 24 (5): 671–5. doi:10.1081/JDI-120013973. PMID 12380915. 
  8. ^ "Metabolic Acidosis: Acid-Base Regulation and Disorders: Merck Manual Professional". Retrieved 2008-12-04.