Send to

Choose Destination
Ren Fail. 2003 May;25(3):397-410.

Scrub typhus: a frequently overlooked cause of acute renal failure.

Author information

Division of Nephrology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Chang Gung Medical College and University, Taipei, Taiwan.


Acute renal failure associated with scrub typhus infection is not rare as previously thought. The possibility of scrub typhus should be borne in mind when patients present with fever and varying degrees of acute renal failure, particularly if an eschar exists, along with a history of environmental exposure in an area like Taiwan, where scrub typhus is endemic. Prompt diagnosis and the use of appropriate antibiotics can rapidly alter the clinical course of the disease and prevent the development of serious or fatal complications. To illustrate the above point, this study reports 3 cases of scrub typhus associated with acute renal failure. They were seen at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in a 2-year interval. Case 1 was referred from district hospital with clinical features of multiple organ dysfunctions, including shock, fever, acute respiratory failure, acute renal failure, and acute hepatitis. Case 2 was admitted with the chief problems of shock, fever, acute renal failure, and DIC. Case 3 visited our outpatient clinic due to fever, maculopapular rash and acute renal failure. In all these patients, the diagnosis was confirmed using immunofluorescence techniques, which showed that Orientia tsutsugamushi had an IgM titer of 1:80 or greater. Notably, despite having varying degrees of acute renal deterioration, the patients responded very well to doxycycline therapy and recovered completely. Additionally, a total of 4 similar cases of scrub typhus associated with acute renal failure were reviewed from the past literature.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Taylor & Francis
Loading ...
Support Center