Cocaine and the kidney: a synthesis of pathophysiologic and clinical perspectives

Am J Kidney Dis. 2000 May;35(5):783-95. doi: 10.1016/s0272-6386(00)70246-0.


Cocaine abuse has reached epidemic proportions in the United States, and several forms of renal disease have been associated with this widespread use. The hemodynamic actions of cocaine, as well as its effects on matrix synthesis, glomerular inflammation, and glomerulosclerosis, may contribute to renal injury. Cocaine abuse has been associated with various forms of acute renal failure and acid-base and/or electrolyte disorders and may also have a role in the progression of chronic renal failure to end-stage renal disease. In utero exposure to cocaine has been associated with urogenital tract anomalies. Medical management of a hypertensive emergency caused by acute cocaine toxicity requires a multisystem approach, with close monitoring of cardiac, neurological, and renal functions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Drug-Induced / etiology
  • Cocaine / pharmacology*
  • Cocaine-Related Disorders / complications*
  • Cocaine-Related Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Diseases
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic
  • Narcotics / pharmacology*
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Renal Insufficiency / chemically induced*
  • Renal Insufficiency / physiopathology*


  • Narcotics
  • Cocaine