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JOP. 2005 Jul 8;6(4):369-74.

Hemolytic-uremic syndrome associated with gemcitabine: a case report and review of literature.

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  • 1Division of Hematology-Oncology, Department of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 35294-3300, USA.



Hemolytic uremic syndrome is a rare condition compromising the clinical triad of acute renal failure, microangiopathic hemolytic anemia, and thrombocytopenia. Hemolytic uremic syndrome may be associated with a variety of etiologies, and chemotherapeutic agents have also been reported to be associated with hemolytic uremic syndrome, including mitomycin, cisplatin, bleomycin, and most recently gemcitabine.


A 72-year-old Caucasian male treated with four cycles of gemcitabine at 1,000 mg/m2 developed clinical and laboratory findings compatible with hemolytic uremic syndrome. He developed microangiopathic hemolysis, rapidly declining renal function with proteinuria and hematuria, and renal biopsy revealed thrombotic microangiopathy. Hemodialysis, plasmapheresis, and corticosteroid therapy were utilized but the process ultimately was irreversible.


With multiple reports of hemolytic uremic syndrome complicating gemcitabine therapy, it is imperative that clinicians heighten their awareness of this potentially lethal complication.

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