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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 121-127

Severe hypothyroidism-associated acute renal failure – A case series from North India and review of literature

1 Department of Nephrology, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Department of Pathology, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Abhilash Chandra
Department of Nephrology, 4th Floor, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences, Vibhuti Khand, Lucknow - 226 010, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/trp.trp_16_19

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Background: Several cases of complete or partially reversible renal failure have been reported in association with severe hypothyroidism, which have responded to thyroxine replacement. However, its risk factors, pathology, pathophysiology, and time of recovery remain unclear. Aim: We report our experience with 31 cases of renal failure in association with severe hypothyroidism, from a goiter-endemic belt in North India, along with a review of existing literature. Materials and Methods: We retrieved cases presenting to our centre, from August 2013 to April 2018 and collected information regarding clinical presentation, laboratory parameters including renal and thyroid function tests, creating kinase, urinary findings and follow-up data pertaining to time and extent of renal function recovery. In three cases, renal biopsies were also done, and these were reviewed by a pathologist. Results: In our study, females slightly outnumber males. More than one-third of patients were known hypothyroid and had defaulted on medications. The severity of serum thyroid-stimulating hormone and CK elevation were not associated with the severity of renal failure or its extent or time of recovery. Older age, coexistence of diabetes mellitus and/or hypertension, higher serum creatinine at presentation, and urinary abnormalities (proteinuria and/or active sediments) correlated significantly with lack of complete renal recovery. All the three biopsies revealed significant tubulointerstitial fibrosis. Conclusions: Thyroid function tests should be performed in the evaluation of unexplained renal failure, even in cases with underlying chronic kidney disease. It is also an important preventable cause of renal failure in known hypothyroid patients.

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