Acute phosphate nephropathy - An emerging threat

Yaacov Ori*, Michal Herman, Ana Tobar, Gil Chernin, Uzi Gafter, Avry Chagnac, Ofer V. Izhak, Asher Korzets

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Background: Acute phosphate nephropathy (APN) is a clinicopathological entity causing renal failure, after ingestion of oral sodium phosphate solution (OSPS). Approximately 25 cases have been described, but OSPS is still widely used. This study reports a further 5 cases and discusses the ever-growing significance of APN. Methods: Five cases of APN were included, 3 retrospectively whereas 2 were diagnosed prospectively. In all, use of OSPS was established, and other causes of nephrocalcinosis were excluded. Results: Average age was 67.4 ± 7.0 years, with a female preponderance (4:1). All patients had hypertension. Baseline serum creatinine: 0.7 to 1.2 mg/dL (creatinine clearance: 52 to 77 mL/min). Time from colonoscopy to presentation was 56 ± 36 days. Serum creatinine levels at presentation: 1.4 to 3.6 mg/dL. Time from colonoscopy to renal biopsy was 123 ± 88 days. Urinalysis showed minimal proteinuria, leucocyturia, and hematuria. One patient had renal glucosuria. All patients were anemic (hemoglobin 8.8-11.4 gr/dL). Serum calcium and phosphate were normal. One required hemodialysis. Mean follow-up was 36 ± 17 months. Serum creatinine levels at end of follow-up were 1.3 to 3.1 mg/dL. Renal function did not recover completely in any patient. Four required long-term erythropoietin treatment. The prominent histopathological findings were calcium-phosphate tubular depositions (100%), interstitial fibrosis (80%), hypertensive changes (80%), and acute tubular degenerative and regenerative changes (60%). Conclusions: APN is a serious, irreversible renal complication of OSPS. It is probably under-recognized. Risk factors include female gender, older age, hypertension, and renal failure, although it may occur with preexisting normal renal function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-314
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of the Medical Sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Bowel cleansing
  • Nephrocalcinosis
  • Phosphate nephropathy


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