Navigate Up

Women's Center - A-Z Index

#
Y

Print This Page

Proximal renal tubular acidosis

Proximal renal tubular acidosis is a disease that occurs when the kidneys don't properly remove acids from the blood into the urine. As a result, too much acid remains in the blood (called acidosis ).

Alternative Names

Renal tubular acidosis - proximal; Type II RTA; RTA - proximal; Renal tubular acidosis type II

Causes

When the body performs its normal functions, it produces acid. If this acid is not removed or neutralized, the blood will become too acidic. This can lead to electrolyte imbalances in the blood. It can also cause problems with normal function of some cells.

The kidneys help control the body's acid level by removing acid from the blood and excreting it into the urine. Acidic substances in the body are neutralized by alkaline substances, mainly bicarbonate.

Proximal renal tubular acidosis (Type II RTA) occurs when bicarbonate is not properly reabsorbed by the kidney's filtering system.

Type II RTA is less common than Type I RTA. Type II most often occurs during infancy and may go away by itself.

Causes of type II RTA include:

Symptoms

Symptoms of distal renal tubular acidosis include any of the following:

Other symptoms can include:

Exams and Tests

The doctor will perform a physical exam and ask about the symptoms.

Tests that may be ordered include:

Other tests that may be done include:

Treatment

The goal is to restore normal acid level and electrolyte balance in the body. This will help correct bone disorders and reduce the risk of osteomalacia and osteopenia in adults.

Some adults may need no treatment. All children need alkaline medicine such as potassium citrate and sodium bicarbonate. This is medicine that helps correct the acidic condition of the body. The medicine helps prevent bone disease caused by too much acid, such as rickets, and to allow normal growth.

The underlying cause of proximal renal tubular necrosis should be corrected if it can be found.

Vitamin D and calcium supplements may be needed to help reduce skeletal deformities resulting from osteomalacia or rickets.

Outlook (Prognosis)

Although the underlying cause of proximal renal tubular acidosis may go away by itself, the effects and complications can be permanent or life-threatening. Treatment is usually successful.

Possible Complications

Untreated, distal renal tubular acidosis can lead to any of the following conditions:

  • Electrolyte imbalances, such as hypokalemia
  • Osteomalacia
  • Rickets

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of proximal renal tubular acidosis.

Get medical help right away if any of the following emergency symptoms develop:

Prevention

Most of the disorders that cause proximal renal tubular acidosis are not preventable.

References

DuBose TD Jr. Disorders of acid-base balance. In: Taal MW, Chertow GM, Marsden PA, et al., eds. Brenner and Rector’s The Kidney. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 16.

Seifter JL. Acid-base disorders. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 120.

Bakkalogul SA, Schaefer F. Diseases of the kidney and urinary tract in children. In: Taal MW, Chertow GM, Marsden PA, et al., eds. Brenner and Rector's The Kidney. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 75.

Updated: 11/7/2013

Brent Wisse, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology & Nutrition, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.


©  UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Supplemental content provided by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions. All rights reserved.

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on UPMC.com is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, UPMC.com is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

For UPMC Mercy Patients: As a Catholic hospital, UPMC Mercy abides by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, as determined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. As such, UPMC Mercy neither endorses nor provides medical practices and/or procedures that contradict the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

© UPMC
Pittsburgh, PA, USA UPMC.com