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Semin Nephrol. 2019 May;39(3):272-277. doi: 10.1016/j.semnephrol.2019.02.005.

Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown Etiology: Hotspots in India and Other Asian Countries.

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Madras Medical Mission Hospital, Chennai, India. Electronic address:
All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.
Apollo Hospital, Hyderabad, India.
Madras Medical Mission Hospital, Chennai, India.


There has been increased reporting of chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology (CKDu) in certain agricultural communities in the world. In India, an increased prevalence of CKDu has been observed in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Goa, and Maharashtra. Although no single causative factor has been proved, several have been proposed: water-borne agrochemicals, silica, chemical flavors in betel nuts, and pesticides. The renal biopsy findings have been similar to those seen in Sri Lanka and Mesoamerican nephropathy in that the predominant findings have been tubular atrophy and interstitial fibrosis with little or no involvement of the glomerular and vascular compartments. Because most of the affected communities belong to the lower socioeconomic group including farmers, a multipronged approach is required for addressing this CKDu epidemic with an emphasis on awareness, prevention, screening, surveillance, provision of renal replacement therapy, increased government spending on health care, and systematic research.


CKDu; India; Uddanam nephropathy; hotspots

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