Type B lactic acidosis is an underrecognized clinical entity that must be distinguished from type A (hypoxic) lactic acidosis. We present the case of a 4-year-old boy with medulloblastoma who presented with lactic acidosis in the setting of septic shock. His hyperlactatemia persisted to high levels even after his hemodynamic status improved. After administration of intravenous thiamine, his lactate level rapidly normalized and remained stable. It was determined that his total parenteral nutrition was deficient in vitamins due to a national shortage. Because thiamine is an important cofactor for pyruvate dehydrogenase, he was unable to use glucose through aerobic metabolism pathways. We briefly review type A versus type B lactic acidosis in this case report.

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