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Alternative Names Return to topRenal tubular acidosis - distal; Renal tubular acidosis type I; Type I RTA; RTA - distal; Classical RTA
Definition Return to top
Distal renal tubular acidosis is a disease that occurs when the kidneys don't remove acid properly into the urine, leaving the blood too acidic (called acidosis).
Causes Return to top
Your kidneys normally regulate your body's pH by controlling acids.
Distal renal tubular acidosis (Type I RTA) is caused by a defect in the kidney tubes that causes acid to build up in the bloodstream.
Type I RTA is caused by a variety of conditions, including:
Symptoms Return to top
Other symptoms can include:
Exams and Tests Return to top
Treatment Return to top
The goal is to restore the normal pH (acid-base level) and electrolyte balance. This will indirectly correct bone disorders and reduce the risk of calcium build-up in the kidneys (nephrocalcinosis) and kidney stones. The underlying cause should be corrected if it can be identified.
Alkaline medications such as potassium citrate and sodium bicarbonate correct the acidic condition of the body. Sodium bicarbonate may correct the loss of potassium and calcium.
Vitamin D and calcium supplements are usually not given because there may be too much calcium in the kidneys, even after bicarbonate therapy.
Outlook (Prognosis) Return to top
The disorder must be treated to reduce its effects and complications, which can be permanent or life-threatening. Most cases get better with treatment.
Possible Complications Return to top
When to Contact a Medical Professional Return to top
Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of distal renal tubular acidosis.
Get help immediately if you develop emergency symptoms, such as:
Prevention Return to top
There is no prevention for this disorder.Update Date: 11/12/2007 Updated by: Charles Silberberg, D.O., Private Practice specializing in Nephrology, Affiliated with NY Medical College, Division of Nephrology, Valhalla, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.