Eosinophiluria in atheroembolic renal disease

Am J Med. 1991 Aug;91(2):186-9. doi: 10.1016/0002-9343(91)90013-n.


Purpose and patients: Eosinophiluria has been reported in acute interstitial nephritis and other renal diseases, but its presence in atheroembolic renal disease (AERD) has not been previously established. AERD has been identified as a cause of acute and chronic renal failure, particularly in elderly patients with advanced atherosclerosis and in those patients who have undergone manipulation or intervention of the abdominal aorta, renal artery, or coronary artery. The definitive diagnosis is made by renal biopsy. However, many patients are too acutely ill to tolerate renal biopsy and, in recent years, peripheral eosinophilia, hypocomplementemia, and thrombocytopenia have been recognized in association with AERD. Previous studies have reported that AERD is associated with an inactive renal sediment and an absence of urine eosinophils. We reviewed our experience over a 4-year period with 24 patients with renal biopsy-proven AERD.

Results: Urine eosinophils were evaluated in nine patients to help determine the cause of their renal deterioration. Seven of these patients presented with evidence of vascular disease. Three patients had procedures involving manipulation of the abdominal aorta. Physical examination revealed findings of atheroembolism in three of nine patients. Overall, eight of nine patients had a positive Hansel's stain for eosinophiluria. Six of eight patients had more than 5% of their urinary white cell count as eosinophils. The reason for failure of previous studies to detect eosinophiluria in AERD is unclear but may have been related to the use of Wright's stain instead of Hansel's stain.

Conclusion: In the evaluation of acute renal insufficiency, eosinophiluria may indicate AERD in addition to the other known causes for this finding.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury / etiology
  • Aged
  • Aorta, Abdominal / surgery
  • Arteriosclerosis / complications*
  • Arteriosclerosis / surgery
  • Arteriosclerosis / urine
  • Cholesterol
  • Embolism / complications*
  • Embolism / etiology
  • Embolism / urine
  • Eosinophilia / complications*
  • Eosinophilia / urine
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Renovascular / complications
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • Cholesterol