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Ask the Medical Expert Archives 2000-2004

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Infant with RTA
May 2000

Q. I would like to know the long-term effects of renal tubular acidosis on an infant. The child was just diagnosed before celebrating their first birthday. What symptoms should I watch for?

A. There are several types of renal tubular acidosis (RTA). The most common form is distal RTA. It starts out less severe that the classical, or proximal, RTA. On the other hand the proximal RTA may resolve over the first decade of life, while the distal RTA tends to be a life long problem. While severe problems can occur, including kidney failure, this is unlikely to happen in this case. This is because there are effective treatments (mainly alkali (a base to fight the acid) treatment. This tends to keep the disease in check. You can learn more about distal RTA at http://insidecentralflorida.adam.com/ency/article/000493.htm.

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