Tumor lysis syndrome (TLS) is an oncologic emergency requiring prompt attention to the management of potentially life-threatening metabolic derangements. Hyperuricaemia is one of the prominent features of TLS which, if not adequately prevented or treated, may lead to renal failure, requiring dialysis. Conventional management of hyperuricaemia involved the use of aggressive hydration, urinary alkalinization and allopurinol. Despite these measures, as many as 14.1% of high-risk patients may still develop renal failure. With the advent of newer agents such as rasburicase, the paradigm of TLS management has shifted towards risk stratification and the use of rasburicase in conjunction with hydration in patients at high risk for TLS. The advantage of rasburicase over allopurinol is its rapid onset of action, lack of need for urine alkalinization, which may worsen hyperphosphataemia and a satisfactory safety profile. Overall, rasburicase offers a safe and more effective alternative to allopurinol in patients at highest risk for TLS. Some of the unanswered questions requiring further investigation with regard to rasburicase use include the optimal number of doses needed, optimal dose based on uric acid levels and tumor burden, dosing in obese patients and maximum dose.
Keywords: Rasburicase, recombinant urate oxidase, allopurinol, uric acid, tumor lysis syndrome, malignancy, child
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