Bartter Syndrome is a rare disorder that involves the kidneys. Bartter syndrome can affect both males and females, and all ethnicities are equally prone to getting this disorder. There are two different kinds of Bartter syndrome: classic and neonatal. These conditions were described by Dr. Bartter and Dr. Pronove in 1962.
Neonatal Bartter syndrome is typically noticed between 24 and 30 weeks of conception. It can be distinguished by excess amniotic fluid. After the baby is born, babies with Bartter syndrome typically drink a lot of fluids and consequently have to urinate a lot. Excess amounts of calcium are often in the urine and kidneys. Excess amounts of calcium in the kidneys can cause kidney stones.
People that have classic Bartter syndrome typically will experience symptoms in childhood. Excess thirst and urination is also commonly seen with classic Bartter syndrome. There usually isn’t much of a tendency to develop kidney stones. Some other symptoms that are associated with Bartter syndrome is growth failure, muscle cramping, and constipation. This condition causes a rise in aldosterone levels, which normally will cause high blood pressure in healthy people, but people with Bartter syndrome have a normal or low blood pressure. Low levels of chloride may also be found. People may have cravings for salt and feel very dehydrated. Some other symptoms may be muscle spasms, vomiting, failure to thrive, weakness, confusion, and a short size.
If Bartter syndrome is not treated, it may lead to kidney failure. It is always important to see a doctor if you experience unusual symptoms.
Diagnosis can be made by checking potassium levels in the blood. Checking the urine for high levels of potassium, calcium and chloride is also an important part of diagnosis. A kidney biopsy might need to be done to check the kidneys for abnormalities.
Bartter syndrome can either be inherited or it can be caused by a defect. Bartter syndrome may be inherited as an autosomal recessive or autosomal dominant trait. Autosomal recessive occurs when both of the parents carry the gene for the disorder, and they pass the gene to the child. Autosomal dominant happens when only one parents carries the gene, and they give it to the child.
Bartter syndrome is more likely to be caused by a defect in the body, which causes the kidneys to be unable to reabsorb potassium.
There is not a known cure for Bartter syndrome as of yet. People with Bartter syndrome should consume moderate amounts of sodium and potassium in their daily diet. Supplements will most likely be recommended, and some medications may be given to assist the body in stopping too much potassium and other important vitamins and minerals from being lost.
The prognosis for people with Bartter syndrome is good if the condition is treated properly and early.