Affordable Access

Publisher Website

Balkan Nephropathy: Evolution of Our Knowledge

Authors
Journal
American Journal of Kidney Diseases
0272-6386
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
52
Issue
3
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2008.05.024
Keywords
  • World Kidney Forum
Disciplines
  • Biology
  • Ecology
  • Geography
  • Medicine

Abstract

Balkan endemic nephropathy (BEN), originally described in the late 1950s as a chronic tubulointerstitial kidney disease, is identified by its unique epidemiological features. The most remarkable characteristic of BEN is the focal topographical nature that characterizes its occurrence at the global, national, and even household level. BEN affects only certain endemic rural foci along tributaries of the Danube River in the Balkan countries of Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania, and Serbia. The spatial distribution has remained astonishingly unchanged with time because the disease affects the same endemic clusters as 50 years ago. The natural course of the disease is characterized by universal development of end-stage renal disease and the frequent development of upper urinary tract tumors, posing a substantial disease burden to the afflicted areas. The greatest challenge in the study of BEN has been the elucidation of its cause. The unique features of the disease, in particular its endemic nature and the long incubation period required for the disease to develop, have led to the proposal that BEN represents a unique environmental disease. The quest for the responsible environmental factor has been long and diverse, and although no definitive answer has been provided to date, converging lines of evidence support the theory that long-term consumption of food contaminated with aristolochic acid underlies the pathogenesis of BEN. The present review describes the evolution of our knowledge of BEN in relation to the development of the main theories for its pathogenesis.

There are no comments yet on this publication. Be the first to share your thoughts.

Statistics

Seen <100 times
0 Comments

More articles like this

Balkan nephropathy.

on The Lancet Mar 26, 1977

The Balkan nephropathy.

on The Lancet Feb 05, 1966

Balkan nephropathy.

on The Practitioner July 1981
More articles like this..