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      Rifampicin-associated acute renal failure: pathophysiologic, immunologic, and clinical features.

      American Journal of Kidney Diseases

      Acute Kidney Injury, chemically induced, epidemiology, immunology, physiopathology, Aged, Anemia, Hemolytic, Antibiotics, Antitubercular, adverse effects, therapeutic use, Drug Administration Schedule, Drug Therapy, Combination, Female, Humans, Rifampin, Time Factors, Tuberculosis, Pulmonary, drug therapy

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          Abstract

          A 71-year-old woman was treated for a relapsing pulmonary tuberculosis with reinstitution of rifampicin after a medication-free interval of 2 years. After ingestion of the second dose, she developed severe hemolytic anemia and acute renal failure (ARF) necessitating dialysis. We demonstrated the presence in the patient's serum of rifampicin-dependent immunoglobulin G (IgG) and IgM antibodies, which caused red blood cell lysis through interaction with the I antigen on the erythrocyte surface. A review of the literature yielded 48 cases of rifampicin-associated renal failure. A subgroup of 37 patients could be distinguished, which, analogous to our case, suddenly developed ARF and frequently also developed hemolytic anemia and/or thrombocytopenia during intermittent or interrupted treatment. Regarding the pathogenesis of the ARF, renal biopsy consistently revealed tubular lesions. Although intravascular hemolysis with hemoglobinuria may play a role, it is not uniformly present. Our demonstration of an antibody with anti-I specificity provides a possible explanation. The I antigen is also expressed on tubular epithelium and may, therefore, be the target structure through which rifampicin-antibody complexes lead to tubular cell destruction. The other cases of rifampicin-associated ARF were unrelated to this subgroup: two cases of rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis, five cases of acute interstitial nephritis, and four cases of light chain proteinuria were recorded.

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