Severe hyperphosphatemia following phosphate administration for bowel preparation in patients with renal failure: two cases and a review of the literature

Am J Kidney Dis. 1997 Jan;29(1):103-5. doi: 10.1016/s0272-6386(97)90015-9.


Two cases of severe hyperphosphatemia following phosphate bowel preparation are described and a review of the literature is presented. Impairment of renal function appears to be a risk factor in those patients without primary bowel pathology. One of our patients died, and the mortality rate combining our cases with all other reported cases is 33%. Repeated doses of phosphate bowel preparations/purgatives can be dangerous in patients with renal impairment.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Administration, Oral
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cathartics / administration & dosage
  • Cathartics / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Phosphates / administration & dosage
  • Phosphates / adverse effects*
  • Phosphates / blood*
  • Renal Insufficiency / blood*
  • Renal Insufficiency / physiopathology
  • Risk Factors


  • Cathartics
  • Phosphates
  • sodium phosphate