Monday, February 18, 2013

In the NEWS: Acute tubular damage from synthetic cannabinoids

A recent report from CDC has suggested that there have now been several cases reported of acute renal injury( some requiting dialysis) from synthetic cannabinoids such as K2, spice. It all started when the cause of kidney failure was unknown and links were being made with fluorinated synthetic cannabinoids.  Kidney biopsy of some cases suggested tubular toxicity and interstitial nephritis which is the classic finding seen with most nephrotoxic agents. No reversing agents have been identified.
The full report can be found at the CDC website.  Prior cases of these reported are from n/v leading to pre renal AKI only.

Interestingly, there have been some basic science studies suggesting the opposite effect in the kidney. Some have even considered this to use for pain and symptom management of CKD.

Nevertheless, the synthetic forms are now rapidly appearing in the market and kidney disease should be considered as a toxic effect of these agents and kept in mind in the differential diagnosis of AKI( especially ATN/AIN) of unclear etiology in the right setting.

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