Luglio Agosto 2019 - Nefrologo in corsia

Minimal change disease during lithium therapy: case report


Lithium is a largely used and effective therapy in the treatment of bipolar disorder. Its toxic effects on kidneys are mostly diabetes insipidus, hyperchloremic metabolic acidosis and tubulointerstitial nephritis. Also, a correlation between lithium and minimal change disease has sometimes been described.

We report here the case of a patient with severe bipolar disorder on lithium therapy who, without any pre-existing nephropathy, developed nephrotic syndrome and AKI with histopathologic findings pointing to minimal change disease.

The patient was treated with symptomatic therapy; the discontinuation of lithium therapy resulted in the remission of AKI and of the nephrotic syndrome, thus suggesting a close relationship between lithium and minimal change disease.


Keywords: minimal change disease, lithium, nephrotic syndrome

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La glomerulonefrite a lesioni minime è una delle principali cause di sindrome nefrosica idiopatica. Nella popolazione adulta rappresenta circa il 15% dei casi di sindrome nefrosica idiopatica, rappresentandone la terza causa, in ordine di importanza, dopo la glomerulonefrite membranosa e la sclerosi segmentaria e focale [1, 2, 3].  

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