The potential role of complements in cocaine-induced thrombotic microangiopathy

Adriana Dejman, Seyed Navid Alavi, David B. Thomas, Alexandra Stefanovic, Arif Asif, Ali Nayer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA) is a rare disorder characterized by microvascular injury and occlusion resulting in tissue ischemia and dysfunction. TMA occurs in a variety of settings including cocaine use. Although cocaine is widely used in the United States, cocaine-associated TMA is only rarely reported. Therefore, other factors may predispose cocaine users to the development of TMA. Emerging evidence indicates that cocaine activates complements. Therefore, complement activation may contribute to the development of cocaine-induced TMA. Here, we report a cocaine user who presented with renal failure. Renal biopsy demonstrated TMA. Laboratory tests revealed reduced serum complement C3 and normal complement C4 levels indicative of alternative complement activation. We postulate that complement activation is involved in the pathogenesis of cocaine-induced TMA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-28
Number of pages3
JournalClinical Kidney Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018


  • Cocaine
  • Complements
  • Endothelial injury
  • Thrombotic microangiopathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology
  • Transplantation


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