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ABSTRACT: Incomplete distal renal tubular acidosis (idRTA) has recently been associated with osteoporosis and growth retardation, attributed to the mild persistent metabolic acidosis. We hypothesized a therapeutic benefit from bicarbonate therapy on growth parameters in children with idRTA. In a study group of 40 surgically treated patients with posterior urethral valve (PUV) and normal estimated glomerular filtration rate, we evaluated the change in height standard deviation scores (SDSs) while they were on bicarbonate therapy in the presence of idRTA and complete distal renal tubular acidosis (dRTA). Age- and gender-matched healthy subjects constituted the control group (n = 55). Incomplete dRTA was evaluated by ammonium chloride acidification. The baseline height SDS of -1.94 +/- 0.41 and -5.31 +/- 1.95 in the groups with idRTA and complete dRTA, respectively, were significantly lower than that of the controls. After a follow-up period of 24.7 +/- 8.3 months on sodium bicarbonate therapy, the idRTA patients had a 66% increase in height SDS compared with 26% and 3% increases in the patients with PUV with complete dRTA and without dRTA, respectively. At the end of follow-up, mean height SDS in the group with idRTA no longer remained significantly lower than that of the controls (P = 0.42). We concluded that bicarbonate therapy improves height SDS in idRTA. This issue needs further validation in larger studies.
Pediatric Nephrology 05/2009; 24(8):1509-16. · 2.94 Impact Factor