Site Map

Distal renal tubular acidosis

Renal tubular acidosis - distal; Renal tubular acidosis type I; Type I RTA; RTA - distal; Classical RTA

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

Images

Kidney anatomy
Kidney - blood and urine flow

I Would Like to Learn About:

Causes

When the body performs its normal functions, it produces acid. If this acid is not removed or neutralized, the blood becomes 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.

Distal renal tubular acidosis (type I RTA) is caused by a defect in the kidney tubes that causes acid to build up in the blood.

Type I RTA is caused by a variety of conditions, including:

Symptoms

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

Other symptoms may include:

Exams and Tests

The health care provider will perform a physical exam and ask about your symptoms.

Tests that may be ordered include:

Calcium deposits in the kidneys and kidney stones may be seen on:

Treatment

The goal is to restore normal acid level and electrolyte balance in the body. This will help correct bone disorders and reduce calcium buildup in the kidneys (nephrocalcinosis) and kidney stones.

The underlying cause of distal renal tubular acidosis should be corrected if it can be identified.

Medicines that may be prescribed include potassium citrate, sodium bicarbonate, and thiazide diuretics. These are alkaline medicines that help correct the acidic condition of the body. Sodium bicarbonate may correct the loss of potassium and calcium.

Outlook (Prognosis)

The disorder must be treated to reduce its effects and complications, which can be permanent or life threatening. Most cases get better with treatment.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your provider if you have symptoms of distal renal tubular acidosis.

Get medical help right away if you develop emergency symptoms such as:

Prevention

There is no prevention for this disorder.

Related Information

Respiratory alkalosis
Metabolic acidosis
Calcium blood test
Osteomalacia
Rickets
Weakness
Kidney stones
Nephrocalcinosis
Low potassium level

References

Bose A, Monk RD, Bushinsky DA. Kidney stones. In: Melmed S, Polonsky KS, Larsen PR, Kronenberg HM, eds. Williams Textbook of Endocrinology. 13th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 30.

Seifter J L. Acid-base disorders. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 118.

Sreedharan R, Avner ED. Renal tubular acidosis. In: Kliegman RM, Stanton BF, St. Geme JW, Schor NF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 529.

BACK TO TOP

Review Date: 10/26/2017  

Reviewed By: Walead Latif, MD, nephrologist and Clinical Associate Professor, Rutgers Medical School, Newark, NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

ADAM Quality Logo

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, for Health Content Provider (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2019 A.D.A.M., a business unit of Ebix, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.