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Saudi J Kidney Dis Transpl. 2016 Jan;27(1):153-6. doi: 10.4103/1319-2442.174195.

Malignant hypertension-associated thrombotic microangiopathy following cocaine use.

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Nephrology Department, La Rabta Hospital, Tunis, Tunisia.


Cocaine is one of the most commonly used illicit drugs with distribution and consumption throughout the world. Acute renal failure associated with rhabdomyolysis, direct vasoconstriction and hemodynamic alteration is well described in patients with cocaine intoxication. Cocaine use is associated with high blood pressure and may rarely induce malignant hypertension associated with thrombotic microangiopathy. We report the case of a patient who developed malignant hypertension associated with thrombotic microangiopathy after chronic consumption of cocaine. A kidney biopsy revealed thrombotic microangiopathy with fibrinoid necrosis of arterioles and glomerular tufts. He required dialysis sessions. Cocaine-mediated endothelial injury and platelet activation may play important pathogenetic roles in cocaine abusers who develop malignant hypertension associated with thrombotic microangiopathy. Clinicians need to be aware of this rare feature of cocaine intoxication.

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