Improvement in Tubulointerstitial Nephritis With Glucocorticoid Therapy in an Anorexia Nervosa Patient

Kenta Torigoe, Yuki Yoshida, Ryosuke Sakamoto, Shinichi Abe, Kumiko Muta, Hideyuki Arai, Hiroshi Mukae, Tomoya Nishino


Anorexia nervosa is a psychiatric disorder that is often diagnosed in adolescents and young adults. Renal-related complications of anorexia nervosa include abnormal water metabolism, electrolyte abnormalities, and nephrocalcinosis, which may lead to irreversible renal damage. Furthermore, tubulointerstitial nephritis has been reported as a renal pathological feature of anorexia nervosa. Immunosuppressive therapy, such as with glucocorticoids, has been recommended for idiopathic interstitial nephritis treatment; however, the effectiveness of immunosuppressive therapy for interstitial nephritis in patients with anorexia nervosa remains unestablished. Here, we report a case of interstitial nephritis in a patient with anorexia nervosa whose renal function was successfully improved with glucocorticoid therapy. The patient was a 38-year-old woman who was referred for renal dysfunction (estimated glomerular filtration rate: 7.6 mL/min/1.73 m2). She had anorexia nervosa and repeated episodes of vomiting. Hypokalemia (K: 2.1 mEq/L) and metabolic alkalosis (HCO3-: 54.2 mEq/L) were observed. Fluid therapy and potassium supplementation did not improve renal function; therefore, a percutaneous renal biopsy was performed. The renal pathology results revealed interstitial fibrosis, inflammatory cell infiltration in the interstitium, and tubulitis, suggesting a diagnosis of tubulointerstitial nephritis. Glucocorticoid therapy improved the patients renal function to an estimated glomerular filtration rate of 19.91 mL/min/1.73 m2, and the renal function remained stable thereafter. This case suggests that glucocorticoid therapy may be considered for the treatment of interstitial nephritis in patients with anorexia.

J Med Cases. 2023;14(9-10):344-349


Acute tubulointerstitial nephritis; Anorexia nervosa; Renal insufficiency

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