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Clin Nephrol. 2000 Jun;53(6):473-8.

The effect of vanadium-contaminated commercially available albumin solutions on renal tubular function.

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  • 1Institute of Laboratory Medicine, German Heart Centre Munich, Clinic at the Technical University of Munich.


We report our findings in a patient with coronary heart disease who received an intravenous albumin solution that contained a significant level of vanadium on the first day after elective primary coronary revascularization. Six patients who underwent similar surgical procedures without albumin infusion were taken as a control group. After administration of the V-contaminated albumin solution, the urinary excretion rates of alpha-glutathione S-transferase, a marker of proximal tubular damage, showed a several-fold elevation above the reference value, and the mean excretion rate was significantly different from that of the control group (p < 0.05). pi-Glutathione S-transferase, a marker of distal tubular damage, only marginally exceeded the upper reference limit in two urine samples from this patient. In all urine samples from the control group the excretion rates of pi-GST were below the detection limit. No significant differences in the excretion rates of alpha1-microglobulin and N-acetyl-beta-D-glucosaminidase were found between the patient treated with the albumin infusion and the patients of the control group. The biological half-life of intravenously administered V was approximately 125 h. All commercially available albumin solutions contain traces of vanadium with the concentration varying between 1.1 and 677 microg/l. The free V fraction in the albumin solutions increased with total V concentration, the highest concentration of free V found being 299 microg/l. The data suggest that the use of albumin solutions containing high levels of vanadium can lead to renal injuries, especially in patients with existing impaired renal function, as is the case with extracorporal circulation. The contamination is believed to be a result of the commercial isolation process.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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