Emphysematous pyelonephritis caused by C. glabrata

J Bras Nefrol. 2021 Mar 24;S0101-28002021005029301. doi: 10.1590/2175-8239-JBN-2020-0184. Online ahead of print.
[Article in English, Portuguese]


Emphysematous pyelonephritis (EPN) is a rare acute necrotizing infection of the kidney and surrounding tissues, with gas in the renal parenchyma, collecting system or perirenal tissue. The bacterial etiology predominates; mainly Gram-negative bacilli; Candida spp. and C. albicans are rarely described. We describe a case of EPN caused by C. glabrata, sensitive to fluconazole in a young, hypertensive woman with undiagnosed diabetes mellitus (DM), with renal dysfunction upon admission; her abdominal CT scan found a volumetric increase in the left kidney, signs of gas collections and perirenal blurring. Despite the antimicrobial therapy instituted, due to clinical refractoriness, a double J catheter and subsequent total nephrectomy were indicated, with good postoperative evolution. Her uroculture showed C. glabrata sensitive to fluconazole, and the pathology study showed tubular atrophy and intense interstitial inflammatory infiltrate. Despite the serious, potentially fatal condition, we could control the infection and the patient recovered fully. Poor DM management is an important triggering factor, and it is of great relevance to identify the EPN through imaging exams due to the peculiarities of its clinical and potentially surgical management.