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December 20, 1971

Cephaloridine and Impaired Renal Function

Author Affiliations

Lexington, Ky.
Durham, NC

JAMA. 1971;218(12):1832. doi:10.1001/jama.1971.03190250058034

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To the Editor.—  It was not our purpose to imply that cephaloridine (a drug that is 80% excreted by the kidney) could not be nephrotoxic in high doses, but rather to put this possible nephrotoxicity in proper perspective. Under conditions with adequate glomerular filtration rate and recommended doses of cephaloridine, additional impairment of renal function did not occur in our patients; most improved or remained unchanged. Although randomized studies are desirable from a scientific standpoint, they are frequently not practical. Bennett and Porter's patient who developed acute tubular necrosis after 18 gm of cephaloridine over a three-day period should not be given cephaloridine or any other medication which is normally excreted by the kidney, for extremely high serum levels will occur. However, to imply that this small amount of cephaloridine caused the acute tubular necrosis ignores the medical obligations to recognize, identify, and treat other more likely causes of acute