Other Conditions & Exposures

Expert reports about Other Conditions & Exposures


INFORMATION FOR WOMEN WHO HAVE RENAL TUBULAR ACIDOSIS (RTA) DURING PREGNANCY OR BREASTFEEDING

                                                                                                                                                

What is renal tubular acidosis (RTA) during pregnancy?

Renal Tubular Acidosis (RTA) is a condition in which the kidneys excrete too much of an electrolyte called bicarbonate (HCO3-), or/and are unable to excrete enough acid (H+) when the blood becomes too acidic. The result is chronic (long-term) metabolic acidosis, a condition in which the pH of blood and other body tissues falls below 7.35 (normally, pH ranges from 7.35 to 7.45). In particular, RTA causes what doctors call normal anion gap metabolic acidosis (NAGMA). This means that the anion gap (AG) – the difference between the sum of the concentrations of the positive electrolytes (also known as cations) and the negative electrolytes (anions) – is not elevated to abnormally high levels. Normally, cations in blood, which include mostly sodium (Na+) but also potassium (K+) and some others, slightly outnumber anions. If the difference between cations and anions is abnormally high, this is called a high anion gap, which is characteristic of certain types of metabolic acidosis, such as lactic acidosis and ketoacidosis, in contrast with RTA. As for the causes of RTA, it can be acquired as a result of disease, or it can result from genetic defects that are inherited with an autosomal pattern, meaning that gender does not affect your chances of inheriting the condition. Inheritance can be either autosomal dominant (you can inherit the condition even if only one parent supplies a defective gene) or autosomal recessive (you need to inherit a defective gene from both parents).


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