Bile cast nephropathy: An often forgotten diagnosis

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Abstract

High bilirubin levels are nephrotoxic. Bilirubin can cause a functional proximal tubulopathy or may precipitate into casts associated with acute tubular injury. This condition is known as bile cast nephropathy. The kidney injury is generally reversible if bilirubin levels are decreased early. We present a case wherein an alcoholic patient presented with high bilirubin levels and anuric acute kidney injury. The initial urine analysis suggested intrinsic renal disease. A kidney biopsy, performed a few days after the initiation of dialysis, demonstrated the presence of bile casts along with acute tubular injury. The patient however continued to be dialysis dependent inspite of initiating prednisolone to treat acute alcoholic hepatitis.

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