, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 0067-0071

Acute renal failure due to cholesterol crystal embolism treated with LDL apheresis followed by corticosteroid and candesartan

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Cholesterol crystal embolism (CCE) is caused by the shedding of cholesterol crystals into the bloodstream, and it has been recently recognized as a serious complication after vascular procedures. Our case of CCE, which was diagnosed by skin and renal biopsies, occurred in a patient with hypertension and diabetes mellitus, 3 months after coronary angiography, with the development of renal failure and blue toes. After low-density lipoprotein apheresis (LDL-A), the skin lesions, including livedo reticularis and pain from the acrocyanotic toes, dramatically improved, with partial recovery of renal function. Following the administration of low-dose corticosteroid and candesartan – an angiotensin II type 1 receptor antagonist (ARB) – the eosinophilia disappeared and renal function improved gradually with a decrease in urinary protein excretion. Therefore, a combination therapy of LDL-A, low-dose corticosteroid, and an ARB is a possible treatment for CCE, although the possibility of spontaneous recovery of renal function cannot be eliminated for this patient.

Received: June 4, 2002 / Accepted: September 30, 2002
Correspondence to:K. Tamura