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Ren Fail. 2013 Jul;35(6):885-7. doi: 10.3109/0886022X.2013.801301. Epub 2013 Jun 5.

Lead nephropathy due to Sindoor in India.

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Department of Nephrology and Clinical Transplantation, Institute of Kidney Diseases and Research Center, Dr HL Trivedi Institute of Transplantation Sciences [IKDRC-ITS], Ahmedabad, India.


We report a case of lead nephropathy due to Sindoor treated successfully with steroid, hemodialysis and chelating agent. Diagnosis of lead nephropathy was confirmed by identification of potential sources of lead exposure (Sindoor, 5-10 gm per year for 11 years) indicated by high blood lead level, 95 µg/dL and presence of extrarenal features of lead poisoning (hypertension, anemia, lead line, hyperuricemia). A search for the underlying systemic causes of renal failure yielded no results. A kidney biopsy showed acute or chronic tubule-interstitial nephritis with mesangioproliferative glomerulonephritis with no immune deposit on immunofluorescence consistent with lead nephropathy. He was discharged in good health after psychiatric consultation and continued with oral D-Penicillamine with normal renal function tests and urine output. This case identifies Sindoor as a potential lead exposure among Indians and clinicians should be aware of this risk factor and enquire about it when searching a source of lead exposure in high-risk population.

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