• Vol. 30 No. 1, 55–57
  • 15 January 2001

Case Report: Acute Tumour Lysis Syndrome

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ABSTRACT

Introduction: Acute tumour lysis syndrome (ATLS) is a potentially lethal but preventable complication of oncological treatment.

Clinical Picture: We report a case of a patient with Burkitt’s leukaemia who developed ATLS after treatment with chemotherapy.

Treatment: Standard preventive measures using aggressive hydration, urine alkalinisation and uricosuric agents were instituted before chemotherapy.

Outcome: However in spite of adequate measures, the patient succumbed to the sequelae of ATLS.

Conclusions: It is therefore important to identify patients who are at a high risk of developing ATLS so that additional measures can be taken to prevent it from occurring.


Acute tumour lysis syndrome (ATLS) is one of the most urgent of all oncological treatment-related complications. It has a broad impact on organ dysfunction, the most important and life threatening complication being acute renal failure. Early implementation of preventive measures can have a drastic impact on reducing the associated morbidity and mortality from this syndrome.

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