European Journal of Epidemiology

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 235–238 | Cite as

Balkan endemic nephropathy: Still a mysterious disease

  • Zoran Božić
  • Vjekoslav Duančić
  • Mladen Belicza
  • Ognjen Kraus
  • Igor Skljarov
Review

Abstract

Balkan endemic nephropathy (BEN) is an acquired, environmental, polytopical disease of the entire urinary tract, with long latency. Tubulo-interstitial chronic nephritis, urotheliomas of all localities, and renal cell carcinoma occur with a significantly higher frequency in the affected population. These represent only clinical manifestations of one unique nosological entity. BEN occurs in focuses. Within them, it agglomerates in households, without any evidence of hereditary background. Patients with various clinical manifestations of the disease can be simultaneously found within one single household. BEN appears equally among members of different ethnic groups. Its aetiology is not clear enough. There is no evidence of a causal relationship with silicon compounds, heavy metals and viruses. Much attention has been recently focused on research of the aetiological role of mycotoxins, mainly ochratoxin A. Toxic and carcinogenic agents of natural origin are commonly accepted as the major cause of BEN.

Key words

Balkan nephropathy Interstitial nephritis Kidney neoplasms Transitional cell carcinoma 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zoran Božić
    • 1
  • Vjekoslav Duančić
    • 2
  • Mladen Belicza
    • 3
  • Ognjen Kraus
    • 1
  • Igor Skljarov
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of UrologyUniversity Hospital of Zagreb, Medical Faculty ‘Sestre milosrdnice’ZagrebCroatia
  2. 2.Department of EpidemiologyMedical Centre for Prevention and Rehabilitation of Heart DiseasesZagrebCroatia
  3. 3.Department of PathologyMedical Faculty of ZagrebZagrebCroatia
  4. 4.Department of RadiologyCantonal University Hospital of GenevaGenèveSwitzerland

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