Urothelial malignant disease and Chinese herbal nephropathy

Lancet. 2001 Nov 3;358(9292):1515-6. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(01)06576-x.


We have previously reported occurrence of a specific type of nephropathy due to ingestion of Chinese herbs (Chinese herbal nephropathy [CHN]) in two patients in the UK. These cases highlighted the role of aristolochic acid in causing this nephropathy, which was first described in a Belgian cohort. We now report development of invasive transitional cell carcinoma of the urinary tract associated with the presence of aristolochic acid-DNA adducts in one of these patients. This work clearly shows the carcinogenic potential of aristolochic acid in this new type of nephropathy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Letter

MeSH terms

  • Aristolochic Acids*
  • Carcinogens / adverse effects*
  • Carcinoma, Transitional Cell / chemically induced*
  • Carcinoma, Transitional Cell / pathology
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / chemically induced
  • Middle Aged
  • Phenanthrenes / adverse effects*
  • Ureteral Neoplasms / chemically induced*
  • Ureteral Neoplasms / pathology


  • Aristolochic Acids
  • Carcinogens
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Phenanthrenes
  • aristolochic acid I