Lithium-induced nephropathy

Case contributed by Pablo Lorenzzoni


Urinary urgency for ultrasound assessment.

Patient Data

Age: 55 years
Gender: Female

Multiple echogenic interfaces are seen in both kidneys, with loss of the corticomedullary differentiation. Some small defined simple cysts are noted.


Both kidneys show multiple microcysts, corresponding to the multiple echogenic interfaces described in the ultrasound. Some simple cysts are also confirmed. This appearance is typical of lithium-induced nephropathy.

Incidental vertebral hemangioma in L3.

Case Discussion

The history of Lithium intake was not volunteered. A phone call to the treating physician revealed that patient suffers of Bipolar Disorder for a long time and had been taking Lithium for more than 10 years.

(With contributions from Dr Thomas Snow and Dr Carl Kua)

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