Nephrotoxicity and neurotoxicity following star fruit (Averrhoa carambola) ingestion: a narrative review.Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2021 09 03; 115(9):947-955.TR
In recent times, star fruit (Averrhoa carambola) nephrotoxicity and neurotoxicity have been increasingly reported, both in individuals with pre-existing renal disease and those with previously normal renal function. We summarise the clinical findings of star fruit toxicity in humans and outline the important pathogenetic insights provided by animal studies. Google Scholar, EMBASE, Scopus and PubMed were searched from 1995 through July 2020 for case reports/series on renal or neurological manifestations of star fruit toxicity in humans and mechanisms of star fruit toxicity in animal studies. Ten case series and 28 case reports in humans (total number of individuals=136) were included and 8 animal studies were analysed. Ninety-four (69.1%) patients had prior renal impairment. Renal histology showed acute oxalate nephropathy with tubulointerstitial nephritis or tubular necrosis. Neurotoxicity manifestations ranged from hiccups to status epilepticus. Oxalate and caramboxin are considered the main substances causing nephrotoxicity and neurotoxicity. Caramboxin inhibits GABA binding and activates the glutamatergic receptors. Haemodialysis improved outcomes in neurotoxicity. Nephrotoxicity and neurotoxicity need to be looked for with star fruit toxicity, both in individuals with abnormal or normal renal function. Once star fruit intoxication is identified, early renal replacement therapy should be considered. Further studies on the mechanisms of star fruit toxicity are needed.