Consecutive episodes of heart and kidney failure in an "otherwise" healthy young man

V. Esposito, D. Catucci, M. Colucci, M. Torreggiani, F. Grosjean, C. Esposito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Acute renal failure is a rare occurrence in a patient with an unremarkable past medical history and should always lead to an in depth clinical study. The occurrence in the same healthy young subject, of consecutive episodes of heart failure and of acute renal failure is an even rarer event and should prompt diagnostic tests and restrict the diagnostic hypotheses. Case presentation: We present the case of a 28 year-old man who, while waiting to undergo assessment for a mild chronic kidney disease, was diagnosed with decompensated dilated cardiomyopathy and placed on diuretics and β-blockers. After few weeks he developed a non oligoanuric acute renal failure with a slight elevation of serum calcium. Renal biopsy proved suggestive for renal sarcoidosis; thus the hypothesis of systemic sarcoidosis with cardiac and renal involvement was possible avoiding further delay in initiation of therapy. Conclusions: Cardiac sarcoidosis is usually silent but the majority of cases are diagnosed when cardiac symptoms are present in a patient with systemic sarcoidosis. Renal involvement with granulomatous interstitial nephritis is also quite rare and can be an unexpected finding at kidney biopsy. This case highlights the need to evaluate thoroughly clinical problems that do not fit in a specific scenario and emphasizes the importance of performing a kidney biopsy in case of kidney failure of unknown etiology.

Original languageEnglish
Article number229
JournalBMC Nephrology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 20 2019


  • Acute kidney injury
  • Granuloma
  • Heart failure
  • Kidney biopsy
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Steroid treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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