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March 27, 2001

Other Illnesses

Question from New York, USA:

My husband, who has type 2 diabetes, lost a kidney to cancer three years ago. He is cancer free, no follow-up chemo or radiation. One week prior to removing this kidney he was involved in a major boat accident causing severe blunt force trauma to his healthy kidney. Within 24 hours after removing the cancerous kidney he went into acute renal failure. Within three years, he was on dialysis and recently received a living donor kidney from his daughter. Where do I find research regarding blunt force trauma and the acceleration of kidney disease? His doctors have indicated the acceleration is a real factor in his kidney failure. Is it any different for people with diabetes?

Answer:

I’m afraid you won’t find much research in humans. There are data in animals about what happens to a remaining kidney when the other is removed in an environment of diabetes. There is hyperfiltration and acceleration of diabetes-related changes in the remaining kidney. How much diabetes-related change was there is a question. I don’t know what the effect of the trauma was, and I don’t know the references for such work.

JTL