Radio-opaque fecal impaction and pseudo-occlusion in a dialyzed patient taking lanthanum carbonate


Correspondence to: C. Muller, MD, Hôpitaux Civils de Colmar, Service de Néphrologie et Hémodialyse, 39 Avenue de la Liberté, 68000 Colmar, France. E-mail:


Lanthanum therapy is an efficient therapy of hyperphosphoremia by chelating phosphore in the digestive tract. Lanthanum is a silvery white metallic element that belongs to group 3 of the periodic table. This drug is lightly absorbed and has low water solubility. It should be borne in mind that abdominal X-rays of patients taking lanthanum carbonate may have a radio-opaque appearance typical of imaging agents. This characteristic is suggested to confirm adherence of the patient by doing an abdominal X-ray. We describe in our case a particular good compliant patient with slow digestive transit, which ends by pseudo-occlusion.