Bartter syndrome

What causes Bartter syndrome?

Bartter syndrome may be caused by mutations in any one of several genes; the genetic cause in each case corresponds to the type of Bartter syndrome each affected individual has. Type I results from mutations in the SLC12A1 gene. Type II is caused by mutations in the KCNJ1 gene. Type III results from mutations in the CLCNKB gene. Type IV can be caused by mutations in the BSND gene or from a combination of mutations in the CLCNKA and CLCNKB genes. A final variant, type V, has been associated mutations in the CASR gene. In some people with Bartter syndrome, the genetic cause of the disorder remains unknown; there may be other genes that cause the condition that have not yet been identified.

All of these genes are essential for normal kidney function - they are involved in the kidneys' abilities to reabsorb salt. Abnormal changes in these genes impair these abilities, allowing for the loss of excess salt through the urine and also affecting the reabsorption of other things including potassium and calcium. The resulting imbalance of these in the body lead to the signs and symptoms of Bartter syndrome.

Last updated on 05-01-20

How is Bartter syndrome diagnosed?

Bartter syndrome is usually diagnosed after a combination of tests are performed on an individual with the signs and symptoms of the condition. Laboratory tests include blood tests to measure serum electrolyte levels (specifically magnesium, renin, and aldosterone), and urine tests to determine the presence of prostaglandin E2 and urine electrolytes (including elevated levels of sodium and potassium).

Antenatal subtypes can be diagnosed before birth (prenatally) when polyhydramnios is present without associated congenital malformations and when there are elevated levels of chloride and aldosterone in the amniotic fluid. Molecular genetic testing can be used to confirm the diagnosis.

Last updated on 05-01-20

Is genetic testing available for Bartter syndrome?

The Genetic Testing Registry (GTR) provides information about the genetic tests for this condition. The intended audience for the GTR is health care providers and researchers. Patients and consumers with specific questions about a genetic test should contact a health care provider or a genetics professional.

Last updated on 05-01-20

How is Bartter syndrome inherited?

Bartter syndrome is usually inherited in an autosomal recessive manner, which means that both copies of the disease-causing gene (one inherited from each parent) have a mutation in an affected individual. Parents who each carry one mutated copy of the gene are referred to as carriers and typically do not have signs or symptoms of the condition. When two carriers for an autosomal recessive condition have children, each child has a 25% (1 in 4) risk to have the condition, a 50% (1 in 2) risk to be a carrier like each of the parents, and a 25% chance to not have the condition and not be a carrier.

Type V Bartter syndrome is inherited in an autosomal dominant manner, which means that one copy of the altered gene in each cell is sufficient to cause the disorder. Each child born to a person with an autosomal dominant condition has a 50% chance of inheriting the condition.

The Genetics Home Reference website has illustrations that demonstrate autosomal recessive and autosomal dominant inheritance.

Last updated on 05-01-20

What is the long term outlook for people Bartter syndrome?

Currently there is no cure for Bartter syndrome, but treatments are available. Severity of symptoms (and associated complications) vary from person to person. People with Bartter syndrome must take medications consistently, as prescribed, throughout their lifetime. They also must be careful to maintain an adequate fluid and electrolyte balance. With treatment, prognosis in many cases is good. However, life expectancy and quality of life may be affected by complications such as growth delays, developmental problems, kidney failure and multiple hospitalizations.

Last updated on 05-01-20

How might Bartter syndrome be treated?

Treatment of Bartter syndrome depends on the specific symptoms present in each individual and may require the coordinated efforts of a team of specialists. The primary focus of treatment is on restoring the proper balance of fluids and electrolytes in the body. This may include oral potassium (K) supplements, medication such as indomethacin, and potassium-sparing diuretics. In high-stress situations such as illness or trauma, blood electrolyte levels can change rapidly, which may require immediate intravenous treatment. Genetic counseling may benefit affected individuals and their families.

Medscape Reference has an article containing additional, detailed information about the management and treatment of Bartter syndrome. Click here to view this information.

Last updated on 05-01-20

Name: National Kidney Foundation 30 East 33rd Street
New York, NY, 10016, United States
Phone: 212-889-2210 Toll Free: 800-622-9010 Fax : 212-689-9261 Email: Url:
Name: The Kidney Foundation of Canada 700-15 Gervais Drive Toronto Ontario M3C 1Y8
Phone: 416-445-0373 Toll Free: 800-387-4474 Fax : 416-445-7440 Email: Url:
Name: American Kidney Fund, Inc. 6110 Executive Boulevard Suite 1010
Rockville, MD, 20852, United States
Phone: 301-881-3052 Toll Free: 866-300-2900 Email: Url:
Name: Bartter Syndrome Foundation 6689 Willow Ridge Rd
Hamburg, NY, 14075, United States

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The RareGuru disease database is regularly updated using data generously provided by GARD, the United States Genetic and Rare Disease Information Center.

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