Internal and Emergency Medicine

, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 159–160 | Cite as

Idiopathic retroperitoneal fibrosis: a rare disease to be treated by an internist

  • Alberto ArtomEmail author
  • Massimiliano Uccelli
  • Patrizia Artom
CE - Letter to the Editor

The idiopathic retroperitoneal fibrosis is a rare and complex disease that usually is treated by urologist, being its most common clinical presentation “back pain with homolateral hydronephrosis.” However, the main therapy is a medical treatment—immunosuppressive and/or antifibrogenic—that must be started as soon as possible; usually, instead, only intervention with decompression of the urinal obstruction is performed, and the necessary pharmacological therapy is often postponed or, in the worst cases, ignored. Moreover, we have recently pointed out that an experienced internist can provide a more accurate and not invasive diagnosis compared to the typical surgical one [1]. We present the case of a patient affected by idiopathic retroperitoneal fibrosis, hospitalised by the internal medicine staff after the wrong treatment implemented by urologists.

A 53-year-old man was admitted to our hospital—in the internal medicine department—after receiving a bilateral nephrostomy 50 days earlier...


Tamoxifen Therapy Common Clinical Presentation Internal Medicine Department Gallium Scintigraphy Urology Department 
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  1. 1.
    Artom A, Gandolfo N (2004) Idiopathic retroperitoneal fibrosis: a case report without increased levels of acute-phase reactants. Noninvasive diagnosis and treatment. Ann Ital Med Int 19:50–53PubMedGoogle Scholar
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    Vaglio A, Salvarani C, Buzio C (2006) Retroperitoneal fibrosis. Lancet 367:241–251PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    van Bommel EFH, Hendriksz TR, Huiskes A, Zeegers AGM (2006) Brief communication: tamoxifen therapy for nonmalignant retroperitoneal fibrosis. Ann Intern Med 144:101–106PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© SIMI 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alberto Artom
    • 1
    Email author
  • Massimiliano Uccelli
    • 1
  • Patrizia Artom
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Internal MedicineSanta Corona HospitalPietra Ligure (SV)Italy

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