Research Article

Acute renal failure in tropical Africa.

Br Med J 1976; 1 doi: (Published 10 April 1976) Cite this as: Br Med J 1976;1:890
  1. D Adu,
  2. Y Anim-Addo,
  3. A K Foli,
  4. E D Yeboah,
  5. J K Quartey,
  6. B F Ribeiro


    Between 1972 and 1975, 55 adult patients with acute renal failure were admitted to the renal unit of Korle Bu Hospital. Fourteen patients died, giving an overall death rate of 25%. Massive intravascular haemolysis after a short febrile illness was the commonest cause of acute renal failure. Clinically these patients presented with blackwater fever but in only one could Plasmodium falciparum malaria be confidently diagnosed. In half the patients various bacterial and viral infections (especially typhoid) could be incriminated as causing this blackwater fever syndrome. The incidence of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency was 22.5%, but we could not confirm the impression of a greater predisposition to acute renal failure in patients with this enzyme defect.