Renal metastases from solid tumors to both kidneys rarely result in acute renal failure (ARF). We present a case of squamous cell pulmonary carcinoma responsible for ARF due to (1) extensive (50% to 75%) bilateral parenchymal infiltration and replacement accompanied by tissue destruction, (2) widespread vascular invasion and thrombosis resulting in ischemia, and (3) histological evidence for foci of distal intratubular obstruction and pyelonephritis. Five additional cases, including one pulmonary cancer, causing ARF from extensive tissue replacement and destruction are reviewed. In a separate case, ARF resulted from lymphatic metastases rather than from parenchymal destruction or obstruction. Common findings in all six reported cases include bilaterally enlarged kidneys and progressive oligoanuria despite correction of prerenal or postrenal conditions. In our patient and in one other prior reported case, extrarenal obstruction was not considered important because invasive therapeutic procedures were unsuccessful in reversing ARF. In one case, irradiation of kidney tumor resulted in reversal of ARF. These cases emphasize the rare potential for solid tumors to metastasize to both kidneys and result in irreversible oligoanuric ARF. A high level of suspicion is required, and an early diagnosis may result in reversible ARF if the tumor is amenable to chemotherapy or irradiation.
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