Learn About Distal Renal Tubular Acidosis

What is the definition of Distal Renal Tubular Acidosis?

Distal renal tubular acidosis is a disease that occurs when the kidneys do not properly remove acids from the blood into the urine. As a result, too much acid remains in the blood (called acidosis).

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What are the alternative names for Distal Renal Tubular Acidosis?

Renal tubular acidosis - distal; Renal tubular acidosis type I; Type I RTA; RTA - distal; Classical RTA

What are the causes of Distal Renal Tubular Acidosis?

When the body performs its normal functions, it produces acid. If this acid is not removed or neutralized, the blood becomes too acidic. This can lead to electrolyte imbalances in the blood. It can also cause problems with normal function of some cells.

The kidneys help control the body's acid level by removing acid from the blood and excreting it into the urine.

Distal renal tubular acidosis (type I RTA) is caused by a defect in the kidney tubes that causes acid to build up in the blood.

Type I RTA is caused by a variety of conditions, including:

  • Amyloidosis, a buildup of abnormal protein, called amyloid, in the tissues and organs
  • Fabry disease, an abnormal buildup in the body of a certain type of fatty substance
  • High level of calcium in the blood
  • Sickle cell disease, red blood cells that are normally shaped like a disk take on a sickle or crescent shape
  • Sjögren syndrome, an autoimmune disorder in which the glands that produce tears and saliva are destroyed
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus, an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue
  • Wilson disease, an inherited disorder in which there is too much copper in the body's tissues
  • Use of certain medicines, such as amphotericin B, lithium, and analgesics
What are the symptoms of Distal Renal Tubular Acidosis?

Symptoms of distal renal tubular acidosis include any of the following:

  • Confusion or decreased alertness
  • Fatigue
  • Impaired growth in children
  • Increased breathing rate
  • Kidney stones
  • Nephrocalcinosis (too much calcium deposited in the kidneys)
  • Osteomalacia (softening of the bones)
  • Muscle weakness

Other symptoms may include:

  • Bone pain
  • Decreased urine output
  • Increased heart rate or irregular heartbeat
  • Muscle cramps
  • Pain in the back, flank, or abdomen
  • Skeletal abnormalities
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What are the current treatments for Distal Renal Tubular Acidosis?

The goal is to restore normal acid level and electrolyte balance in the body. This will help correct bone disorders and reduce calcium buildup in the kidneys (nephrocalcinosis) and kidney stones.

The underlying cause of distal renal tubular acidosis should be corrected if it can be identified.

Medicines that may be prescribed include potassium citrate, sodium bicarbonate, and thiazide diuretics. These are alkaline medicines that help correct the acidic condition of the body. Sodium bicarbonate may correct the loss of potassium and calcium.

Who are the top Distal Renal Tubular Acidosis Local Doctors?
Elite
Highly rated in
22
conditions

University Of Zurich

Zurich, ZH, CH 

Carsten Wagner is in Zurich, Switzerland. Wagner is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Distal Renal Tubular Acidosis. He is also highly rated in 22 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Proximal Renal Tubular Acidosis, Primary Tubular Proximal Acidosis, Renal Tubular Acidosis, and Autosomal Dominant Distal Renal Tubular Acidosis.

Elite
Highly rated in
11
conditions

University Hospital Zurich

Zurich, ZH, CH 

Nilufar Mohebbi is in Zurich, Switzerland. Mohebbi is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Distal Renal Tubular Acidosis. She is also highly rated in 11 other conditions, according to our data. Her top areas of expertise are Metabolic Acidosis, Autosomal Dominant Distal Renal Tubular Acidosis, Distal Renal Tubular Acidosis, and Renal Tubular Acidosis.

 
 
 
 
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Distinguished
Highly rated in
16
conditions

Hospital Universitario Central De Asturias

Department Of Pediatrics, Asturias Central University Hospital 
Oviedo, AS, ES 

Fernando Santos is in Oviedo, Spain. Santos is rated as a Distinguished expert by MediFind in the treatment of Distal Renal Tubular Acidosis. He is also highly rated in 16 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Autosomal Dominant Distal Renal Tubular Acidosis, Distal Renal Tubular Acidosis, Renal Tubular Acidosis, and Proximal Renal Tubular Acidosis.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Distal Renal Tubular Acidosis?

The disorder must be treated to reduce its effects and complications, which can be permanent or life threatening. Most cases get better with treatment.

When should I contact a medical professional for Distal Renal Tubular Acidosis?

Contact your provider if you have symptoms of distal renal tubular acidosis.

Get medical help right away if you develop emergency symptoms such as:

  • Decreased consciousness
  • Seizures
  • Severe decrease in alertness or orientation
How do I prevent Distal Renal Tubular Acidosis?

There is no prevention for this disorder.

Kidney anatomy
Kidney - blood and urine flow
What are the latest Distal Renal Tubular Acidosis Clinical Trials?
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What are the Latest Advances for Distal Renal Tubular Acidosis?
MELAS syndrome: an acute stroke-like episode complicated by renal tubular acidosis.
Primary Sjögren syndrome-associated acute interstitial nephritis and type 3 renal tubular acidosis in a patient with thin basement membrane nephropathy: A case report.
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Impaired consciousness, hypokalaemia and renal tubular acidosis in sustained Nurofen Plus abuse.
Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date : October 31, 2021
Published By : Walead Latif, MD, Nephrologist and Clinical Associate Professor, Rutgers Medical School, Newark, NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

What are the references for this article ?

Bushinsky DA. Kidney stones. In: Melmed S, Auchus RJ, Goldfine AB, Koenig RJ, Rosen CJ, eds. Williams Textbook of Endocrinology. 14th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 32.

Dixon BP. Renal tubular acidosis. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 547.

Seifter JL. Acid-base disorders. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 110.