Acetaminophen-induced liver necrosis has been studied extensively, but the extrahepatic manifestations of acetaminophen toxicity are currently not described well in the literature. Renal insufficiency occurs in approximately 1–2% of patients with acetaminophen overdose. The pathophysiology of renal toxicity in acetaminophen poisoning has been attributed to cytochrome P-450 mixed function oxidase isoenzymes present in the kidney, although other mechanisms have been elucidated, including the role of prostaglandin synthetase and N-deacetylase enzymes. Paradoxically, glutathione is considered an important element in the detoxification of acetaminophen and its metabolites; however, its conjugates have been implicated in the formation of nephrotoxic compounds. Acetaminophen-induced renal failure becomes evident after hepatotoxicity in most cases, but can be differentiated from the hepatorenal syndrome, which may complicate fulminant hepatic failure. The role of N-acetylcysteine therapy in the setting of acetaminophen-induced renal failure is unclear. This review will focus on the pathophysiology, clinical features, and management of renal insufficiency in the setting of acute acetaminophen toxicity.
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There was no outside funding of any kind used for this study.
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Mazer, M., Perrone, J. Acetaminophen-induced nephrotoxicity: Pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, and management. J. Med. Toxicol. 4, 2–6 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03160941