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Am J Kidney Dis. 2008 Mar;51(3):491-503. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2007.10.044.

Osmotic nephrosis: acute kidney injury with accumulation of proximal tubular lysosomes due to administration of exogenous solutes.

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Clinic for Transplantation Immunology and Nephrology, University Hospital, Basel, Switzerland.


Osmotic nephrosis describes a morphological pattern with vacuolization and swelling of the renal proximal tubular cells. The term refers to a nonspecific histopathologic finding rather than defining a specific entity. Osmotic nephrosis can be induced by many different compounds, such as sucrose, hydroxyethyl starch, dextrans, and contrast media. It has a broad clinical spectrum that includes acute kidney injury and chronic kidney failure in rare cases. This article discusses the pathological characteristics, pathogenesis, and various clinical entities of osmotic nephrosis.

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