Renal complications in acute leukemias

Reinhold Munker, Ulrike Hill, Ulrich Jehn, Hans Jochem Kolb, Andreas Schalhorn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Background and Objective. Renal failure is a known complication of acute leukemias both at diagnosis and following cytostatic treatment. No recent studies give data on the incidence and risk factors of renal complications and their prognostic impact. Design and Methods. Two hundred and twenty consecutive adult patients with newly diagnosed acute leukemia treated at a major university medical center were evaluated for renal complications before, during, and after treatment; 166 patients were treated with chemotherapy only and 54 patients were treated with chemotherapy and later transplanted with allogeneic or autologous bone marrow. Renal complications were subdivided into 3 entitles: acute renal failure, major and minor complications, based on clinical and laboratory parameters. Renal failure occurring as a consequence of terminal multi-organ failure was excluded from the present study. Results. Approximately 30% of patients in the chemotherapy group had a renal complications either before or after chemotherapy. Patients undergoing transplantation had a 50% risk of renal complications. Risk factors for complications were male sex, age, previous kidney disease, white cell count, and refractory leukemia (chemotherapy group) and allogeneic versus autologous transplant (transplant group). In the chemotherapy group, early but not delayed renal complications had a poor prognostic impact. In the transplant group renal complications had no impact on prognosis. In all patient groups, acute renal failure was prognostically unfavorable. Interpretation and Conclusions. We conclude from our study that renal complications are frequent in acute leukemias and that the treatment and prevention of renal complications is important for the management of acute leukemias.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)416-421
Number of pages6
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute leukemias
  • Bone marrow transplantation
  • Chemotherapy
  • Renal complications


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