Germanium Poisoning: Clinical Symptoms and Renal Damage Caused by Long-Term Intake of Germanium

Katsuya Obara, Takao Saito, Hiroshi Sato, Kaoru Yoshinaga, Miho Kakizawa, Kazuo Kobayashi, Tetsuro Tsukamoto, Michio Hongo, Kei Yamakage, Takao Watanabe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We report five patients who have taken inorganic germanium preparations over a prolonged period. In all cases, the renal function deteriorated with no proteinuria or hematuria. Histological examination of the kidneys showed widespread tubular degeneration and interstitial fibrosis with minor glomerular abnormalities. Most patients had gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting, anorexia and weight loss; one patient had peripheral neuropathy and myopathy. A considerable amount of germanium was detected in the hair or nails of these patients. These cases clearly show that abuse of inorganic germanium compounds can induce renal damage with various extrarenal manifestations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-72
Number of pages6
JournalJapanese Journal of Medicine
Volume30
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1991

Keywords

  • Intestinal transit
  • Myopathy
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Tubulo-interstitial lesions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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