Fatal outcome after ingestion of star fruit (Averrhoa carambola) in uremic patients

Am J Kidney Dis. 2000 Feb;35(2):189-93. doi: 10.1016/s0272-6386(00)70325-8.


Clinical outcome of dialysis patients after eating star fruit (Averrhoa carambola) varies, but it may be fatal. In the past 10 years, 20 such patients were treated in our hospital when they developed clinical symptoms after eating the fruit or drinking star fruit juice. Their initial presentations included sudden-onset limb numbness, muscle weakness, intractable hiccups, consciousness disturbance of various degrees, and seizure. No other major events that might be responsible for these symptoms could be identified. Eight patients died, including one patient with a serum creatinine level of 6.4 mg/dL who had not yet begun dialysis. The clinical manifestations of the survivors were similar to those who died except for consciousness disturbance and seizure. Death occurred within 5 days despite emergent hemodialysis and intensive medical care. The survivors' symptoms usually became less severe after supportive treatment, and these patients subsequently recovered without obvious sequelae. The purpose of this article is to report that patients with renal failure who ingest star fruit may develop neurological symptoms and also run the risk for death in severe cases. Mortality may also occur in patients with chronic renal failure not yet undergoing dialysis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Fruit / adverse effects*
  • Fruit / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Potassium / analysis
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Uremia / complications*


  • Potassium