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Clinical Observation
September 14, 1998

Acute Exposure to Aliphatic Hydrocarbons: An Unusual Cause of Acute Tubular Necrosis

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, Université Laval, Ste-Foy (Drs Landry and Langlois), and the Nephrology Service, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Québec, Quebec City (Dr Langlois), Quebec.

Arch Intern Med. 1998;158(16):1821-1823. doi:10.1001/archinte.158.16.1821

Acute tubular necrosis is not an uncommon phenomenon, but it rarely results from environmental factors. We describe a patient in whom acute renal failure developed 2 times after overexposure to aliphatic hydrocarbons and discuss some potential pathophysiological mechanisms. This association has rarely been reported in the literature. Considering the wide availability of aliphatic hydrocarbons in diesel fuel and solvents, associated renal toxicity is probably underrecognized. We stress the importance of identifying environmental and professional factors as causes of acute tubular necrosis.

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