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BMC Nephrology

, 6:10

First Online: 22 September 2005Received: 27 April 2005Accepted: 22 September 2005


BackgroundCocaine abuse has been known to have detrimental effects on the cardiovascular system. Its toxicity has been associated with myocardial ischemia, cerebrovascular accidents and mesenteric ischemia. The pathophysiology of cocaine-related renal injury is multifactorial and involves renal hemodynamic changes, alterations in glomerular matrix synthesis, degradation and oxidative stress, and possibly induction of renal atherogenesis. Renal infarction as a result of cocaine exposure, however, is rarely reported in the literature.

Case presentationA 48 year-old male presented with a four-day history of severe right flank pain following cocaine use. On presentation, he was tachycardic, febrile and had severe right costovertebral angle tenderness. He had significant proteinuria, leukocytosis and elevated serum creatinine and lactate dehydrogenase. Radiographic imaging studies as well as other screening tests for thromboembolic events, hypercoagulability states, collagen vascular diseases and lipid disorders were suggestive of Cocaine-Induced Renal Infarction CIRI by exclusion.

ConclusionIn a patient with a history of cocaine abuse presenting with fevers and flank pain suggestive of urinary tract infection or nephrolithiasis, cocaine-induced renal infarction must be considered in the differential diagnosis. In this article, we discuss the prior reported cases of CIRI and thoroughly review the literature available on this disorder. This is important for several reasons. First, it will allow us to discuss and elaborate on the mechanism of renal injury caused by cocaine. In addition, this review will demonstrate the importance of considering the diagnosis of CIRI in a patient with documented cocaine use and an atypical presentation of acute renal injury. Finally, we will emphasize the need for a consensus on optimal treatment of this disease, for which therapy is not yet standardized.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1471-2369-6-10 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Shahrooz Bemanian - Mazda Motallebi - Saeid M Nosrati


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