Tumour Lysis syndrome (TLS) is characterized by the massive destruction of tumoral cells and the release in the extracellular space of their content. While TLS may occur spontaneously before treatment, it usually develops shortly after the initiation of cytotoxic chemotherapy. These metabolites can overwhelm the homeostatic mechanisms and cause hyperuricemia, hyperkalemia, hyperphosphatemia and hypocalcemia. Moreover, TLS may lead to an acute renal failure (ARF). In addition to the hospital mortality induced by the acute renal failure itself, development of an ARF may preclude optimal cancer treatment. Therefore, prevention of the acute renal failure during acute tumor lysis syndrome is mandatory. The objective of this review is to describe pathophysiological mechanisms leading to acute tumor lysis syndrome, clinical and biological consequences of this syndrome and to provide up-to-date guidelines to ensure prevention and prompt management of this syndrome.
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