Research Article

Analysis and management of renal failure in fourth MRC myelomatosis trial. MRC working party on leukaemia in adults.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984; 288 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.288.6428.1411 (Published 12 May 1984) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984;288:1411

Abstract

During March 1980 to February 1982, 73 out of 80 patients in renal failure admitted to the fourth MRC myelomatosis trial were managed by a planned policy of high fluid intake (greater than or equal to 3 1/24 h) in addition to receiving one of the two chemotherapeutic regimens being tested in the main trial. Patients were also randomised to receive either sodium bicarbonate to render their urine neutral or no supplement. Follow up continued till death or to April 1983. Of 49 patients who survived more than 100 days, 39 achieved reversal of their renal failure (18 complete, 21 partial). Recovery of renal function, as assessed by a fall in the serum creatinine concentration, was achieved even when light chain proteinuria persisted. Partial recovery of renal function was associated with prolonged useful life in several patients. In only 14 of the 80 patients studied was death directly attributable to renal failure. Survival of patients in the study was appreciably better than in equivalent groups of patients in other MRC trials in which less stringent policies of fluid intake were used. Patients randomised to receive alkali fared marginally better than the others, but the difference was not significant. These results show that in many cases patients with myelomatosis who develop renal failure may have this complication reversed by taking a high fluid intake. Furthermore, though light chain is an essential component of renal disease in these patients, other factors are also important and are accessible to treatment.