Bilateral Renal Rupture in a Patient on Hemodialysis

Carlson, Chris C.; Holsten, Steve J.; Grandas, Oscar H.
June 2003
American Surgeon;Jun2003, Vol. 69 Issue 6, p505
Academic Journal
This is a case presentation and discussion of a dialysis patient who presented to the surgical service with abdominal pain, hypotension, and tachycardia and in extremis who was found to have a contained retroperitoneal hematoma after rupture of his left kidney. Six months after an uneventful nephrectomy and postoperative recovery he again presented with hypotension and anemia and was found to have a contralateral retroperitoneal hematoma consistent with renal hemorrhage. After unsuccessful angioembolization, the patient underwent a right nephrectomy and recovered without sequelae. Bilateral spontaneous renal rupture is a rare event documented by only a few anecdotal reports in the literature and usually associated with acquired cystic kidney disease. Rupture of renal cysts is relatively common in renal cystic disease but usually presents as asymptomatic hematuria or flank pain. Trauma is the most common cause of renal rupture, but other causes of spontaneous renal rupture are rare and include polyarteritis nodosa and urothelial carcinoma. The diagnosis of acute abdominal pain in the dialysis patient is a challenging differential. While a rare complication the diagnosis of spontaneous renal rupture should not be excluded in a patient presenting with abdominal pain, hypotension, and anemia.


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