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J Crohns Colitis. 2016 Feb;10(2):149-58. doi: 10.1093/ecco-jcc/jjv219. Epub 2015 Nov 29.

Clinical Features and HLA Association of 5-Aminosalicylate (5-ASA)-induced Nephrotoxicity in Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

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IBD Pharmacogenetics, Royal Devon and Exeter Foundation Trust, Exeter, UK Precision Medicine Exeter, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK
IBD Pharmacogenetics, Royal Devon and Exeter Foundation Trust, Exeter, UK Precision Medicine Exeter, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK.
Precision Medicine Exeter, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK.
Exeter Kidney Unit, Royal Devon and Exeter Foundation Trust, Exeter, UK.
University Hospital AOU, Department of Emergency, 2nd Gastroenterology Unit, Florence, Italy.
Royal Cornwall Hospital NHS Trust, Penventinnie Lane, Truro, UK.
Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.
Department of Gastroenterology, West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Watford General Hospital, Watford, UK.



Nephrotoxicity is a rare idiosyncratic reaction to 5-aminosalicylate (5-ASA) therapies. The aims of this study were to describe the clinical features of this complication and identify clinically useful genetic markers so that these drugs can be avoided or so that monitoring can be intensified in high-risk patients.


Inflammatory bowel disease patients were recruited from 89 sites around the world. Inclusion criteria included normal renal function prior to commencing 5-ASA, ≥50% rise in creatinine any time after starting 5-ASA, and physician opinion implicating 5-ASA strong enough to justify drug withdrawal. An adjudication panel identified definite and probable cases from structured case report forms. A genome-wide association study was then undertaken with these cases and 4109 disease controls.


After adjudication, 151 cases of 5-ASA-induced nephrotoxicity were identified. Sixty-eight percent of cases were males, with nephrotoxicity occurring at a median age of 39.4 years (range 6-79 years). The median time for development of renal injury after commencing 5-ASA was 3.0 years (95% confidence interval [CI] 2.3-3.7). Only 30% of cases recovered completely after drug withdrawal, with 15 patients requiring permanent renal replacement therapy. A genome-wide association study identified a suggestive association in the HLA region (p = 1×10(-7)) with 5-ASA-induced nephrotoxicity. A sub-group analysis of patients who had a renal biopsy demonstrating interstitial nephritis (n = 55) significantly strengthened this association (p = 4×10(-9), odds ratio 3.1).


This is the largest and most detailed study of 5-ASA-induced nephrotoxicity to date. It highlights the morbidity associated with this condition and identifies for the first time a significant genetic predisposition to drug-induced renal injury.


5-Aminosalicylates; nephrotoxicity; renal failure pharmacogenetics; stratified medicine; ulcerative colitis

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