Incidence of radiographically evident bone disease, nephrocalcinosis, and nephrolithiasis in various types of renal tubular acidosis

N Engl J Med. 1982 Jul 22;307(4):217-21. doi: 10.1056/NEJM198207223070403.


The syndrome of renal tubular acidosis has been categorized into three physiologic types that have different clinical findings and prognostic and therapeutic implications. We reviewed radiographs of the skeleton and kidneys in 92 patients (56 children and 36 adults) with renal tubular acidosis in order to determine whether the radiologic findings could be related to the type of syndrome. Forty-four patients had Type 1 renal tubular acidosis, 18 had Type 2, and 30 had Type 4. Evidence of skeletal abnormalities was uncommon (17 per cent) and was confined to patients who had the Type 2 disorder or azotemia. The children with Type 2 and skeletal abnormalities had rickets; the adults had osteopenia without pseudofractures. Nephrocalcinosis was evident in approximately one fourth of the group (29 per cent) and was restricted to patients with the Type 1 syndrome. In patients with Type 4, osteopenia was evident in 12 per cent, all of whom were azotemic. Our observations indicate that the radiographic manifestations of renal tubular acidosis are influenced by the physiologic type of renal tubular acidosis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acidosis, Renal Tubular / classification
  • Acidosis, Renal Tubular / complications
  • Acidosis, Renal Tubular / diagnostic imaging*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bone Diseases, Metabolic / diagnostic imaging*
  • Bone Diseases, Metabolic / etiology
  • Bone and Bones / diagnostic imaging
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Kidney / diagnostic imaging
  • Kidney Calculi / diagnostic imaging*
  • Kidney Calculi / etiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nephrocalcinosis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Nephrocalcinosis / etiology
  • Radiography
  • Syndrome