Tubulointerstitial nephritis and uveitis (TINU) syndrome in a 52-year-old female: a case report and review of the literature

Ren Fail. 2006;28(4):355-9. doi: 10.1080/08860220600577775.


Tubulointerstitial nephritis and uveitis (TINU) syndrome is a rare entity first described in 1975, affecting mainly young women and adolescents. We present a case of a 52-year-old female patient (one of the oldest in the literature) who complained of fever, anorexia, nausea, and vomiting. After she was admitted to our hospital, laboratory tests revealed tubular proteinuria, elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), anemia, and renal insufficiency (serum creatinine 4.2 mg/dL) with metabolic acidosis. Ophthalmologic examination revealed anterior uveitis (iritis) and renal biopsy showed acute tubulointerstitial nephritis. The diagnosis of TINU syndrome was established and the patient was treated with oral corticosteroids. All symptoms and ophthalmologic abnormalities disappeared after 6 weeks of treatment. Renal function also recovered completely and remained stable at follow-up. TINU syndrome should be considered in the differential diagnosis of unexplained tubulointerstitial nephritis, especially in the presence of ocular findings. Corticosteroid therapy is still controversial, but it helps in the quick resolution of renal and mainly eye abnormalities.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Glomerulus / pathology*
  • Methylprednisolone / administration & dosage
  • Middle Aged
  • Nephritis, Interstitial* / complications
  • Nephritis, Interstitial* / drug therapy
  • Nephritis, Interstitial* / pathology
  • Syndrome
  • Uveitis* / complications
  • Uveitis* / drug therapy
  • Uveitis* / pathology


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Methylprednisolone