Cisplatin nephrotoxicity in a patient with a single kidney. Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: To describe a patient with a single kidney who experienced cisplatin-associated nephrotoxicity. CASE SUMMARY: A 78-year-old African-American woman with squamous cell carcinoma of the base of her tongue (T4N2M1) was admitted electively to our institution for the first cycle of chemotherapy. Her past medical history was significant for a left nephrectomy secondary to well-differentiated papillary transitional cell carcinoma of the left renal pelvis, hypothyroidism, asthma, and coronary artery disease. Her blood urea nitrogen (BUN) was 27 mg/dL of urea, and serum creatinine was 1.2 mg/dL. On admission she was hydrated adequately, and was treated with an evening dose of cisplatin 100 mg/m2 (180 mg) in 250 mL of NaCl 0.9% solution in a 3-hour infusion, and a 5-day course of fluorouracil 1000 mg/m2 (1800 mg) in a 24-hour infusion. Serum creatinine and BUN concentrations following cisplatin administration were 1.1 mg/dL and 8 mg/dL, respectively. Four days after cisplatin therapy, a decline in renal function was observed, with an increase in serum creatinine and BUN concentrations to 4.0 mg/dL and 31 mg/dL, respectively. These tests remained elevated throughout her hospitalization. With hemodialysis treatments a resolution in altered mental status was observed; however, her chronic renal failure persisted. She was subsequently discharged and followed in the outpatient renal, geriatric, and oncology clinics. DISCUSSION: Cisplatin is a principal chemotherapeutic agent used in the treatment of a variety of solid tumors. Nephrotoxicity is a major complication associated with this compound. Although many clinicians believe that cisplatin nephrotoxicity is unlikely to occur in patients with a single kidney, recent reports have suggested otherwise. The physiologic changes of the aging kidney are such that they should foster cisplatin clearance rather than expose the kidney to the drug's nephrotoxic potential. In addition, evening administration of cisplatin is thought to minimize nephrotoxicity. We describe a 78-year-old woman with a single kidney who developed nephrotoxicity following a single evening dose of cisplatin. Details of the patient's history and cisplatin-associated complication and therapy are discussed. CONCLUSIONS: Cisplatin circadian rhythmic pharmacotherapy to minimize cisplatin toxicity in patients with a single kidney appears to be controversial and needs further evaluation.

published proceedings

  • Ann Pharmacother

author list (cited authors)

  • Udeani, G. O., Singh, K., Mullane, M. R., & Lad, T. E.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Udeani, GO||Singh, K||Mullane, MR||Lad, TE

publication date

  • July 1996