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Bile Cast Nephropathy Caused by Obstructive Cholestasis

Published:October 22, 2016DOI:https://doi.org/10.1053/j.ajkd.2016.08.023
      Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a major complication in patients with liver disease. Although hepatorenal syndrome is frequently involved, bile cast nephropathy, characterized by tubular bile cast formation, has been scarcely described in the setting of severe liver failure. Few renal histology studies are available in these patients. We describe a case of bile cast nephropathy in a patient with obstructive cholestasis caused by stones in the common bile duct. The kidney biopsy confirmed this diagnosis, with several green casts in tubular lumens, tubular injury, and bilirubin composition of the tubular casts with Hall stain. The patient had no confounding cause of kidney failure, and complete kidney recovery followed removal of the bile duct obstruction. This case shows that severe cholestasis is sufficient to cause AKI, and that AKI can be reversible after treatment of the biliary obstruction.

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