Cocaine adulterated levamisole is an increasingly reported cause of skin necrosis, arthralgia and systemic vasculitis, but renal involvement is uncommon. We present a case of a 40-year-old Hispanic man with a history of cocaine abuse who presented with acute kidney injury to the rheumatology clinic where he was being treated for chronic inflammatory arthritis. He was found to have a serum creatinine of 2.5 mg/dL, microscopic haematuria and subnephrotic proteinuria, along with positive proteinase 3, myeloperoxidase, anticardiolipin antibodies and an elevated antinuclear antibody titre. The renal pathology revealed focal necrotising glomerulonephritis with crescentic features and mild immune type deposition. The patient was treated with cocaine abstinence, pulse dose steroids followed by maintenance prednisone, rituximab and cyclophosphamide. His renal function subsequently improved but did not normalise. We believe that his incomplete improvement was due to the degree of kidney injury on presentation as well as recidivism with cocaine use.
- acute renal failure
- chronic renal failure
- drug misuse (including addiction)
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Twitter Dileep Kumar @dileeplakhani
Contributors DK participated in the renal care for the patient and prepared the manuscript, IB contributed to writing of the manuscript and the assessment of the renal pathology, BM participated in the rheumatologic care for the patient and contributed to writing manuscript, BJ contributed to the writing of the manuscript and KA supervised the writing and clinical care of the patient.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent Obtained.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.