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To determine the nature, extent, and severity of renal involvement in Laurence-Moon-Biedl syndrome (obesity, mental retardation, polydactyly, hypogonadism, and pigmented retinal dystrophy), we evaluated 20 of 30 patients with the disorder identified from ophthalmologic records in Newfoundland. The mean age was 31 years, and seven were male. All 20 patients had structural or functional abnormalities of the kidneys or both. Three had end-stage renal disease, with two requiring maintenance hemodialysis. The remaining 17 patients had normal serum creatinine values and estimated creatinine clearances. Half the subjects had hypertension. Fourteen of 17 patients could not concentrate urine above 750 mOsm per kilogram of body weight even after vasopressin, whereas all 10 normal controls could. Urinary pH decreased below 5.3 after ammonium chloride administration in all 15 normal controls, but in only 13 of 18 patients. Calyceal clubbing or blunting was evident in 18 of 19 patients studied by intravenous pyelography; 13 patients had calyceal cysts or diverticula. Seventeen of 19 patients had lobulated renal outlines of the fetal type. Four patients had diffuse renal cortical loss, but only two of these had renal insufficiency. We conclude that Laurence-Moon-Biedl syndrome includes the presence of renal abnormalities.

Original publication




Journal article


N Engl J Med

Publication Date





615 - 618


Adolescent, Adult, Female, Humans, Hydrogen-Ion Concentration, Hypertension, Kidney, Kidney Concentrating Ability, Kidney Diseases, Laurence-Moon Syndrome, Male, Middle Aged, Osmolar Concentration, Radiography, Urine