Acute renal failure due to cholesterol crystal embolism treated with LDL apheresis followed by corticosteroid and candesartan
- Cite this article as:
- Tamura, K., Umemura, M., Yano, H. et al. Clin Exp Nephrol (2003) 7: 0067. doi:10.1007/s101570300010
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.