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Tumor Lysis Syndrome


Tumor lysis syndrome (TLS) is a condition that happens when cancer cells die quickly. Dying cells release large amounts of potassium, phosphate, and uric acid into the blood. This can cause heart or kidney problems and lead to kidney failure. TLS can become life-threatening if is not managed or treated. It most commonly happens after chemotherapy or radiation treatment, but may also occur after other forms of cancer treatment.


Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.


  • Uric acid medicine decreases uric acid levels in your blood.
  • Loop diuretics are given after IV fluids to help you urinate more.


  • Daily intake and output helps healthcare providers keep track of how much you drink and urinate. Ask healthcare providers if they need to measure or collect your urine.
  • You will be weighed once a day to check if you are retaining or losing too much fluid. Young children will have their weight measured twice daily.
  • Telemetry is continuous monitoring of your heart rhythm. Sticky pads placed on your skin connect to an EKG machine that records your heart rhythm.


Blood tests are done to check potassium, calcium, phosphate, and uric acid levels. They also help healthcare providers monitor your kidney function.


  • IV fluids help you stay hydrated and urinate more.
  • Dialysis may be needed to decrease potassium levels in your blood. It also helps protect your heart and kidneys.


TLS increases your risk for an irregular heart rate or seizures. It also increases your risk for kidney problems that may lead to kidney failure. TLS and these conditions may become life-threatening.


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.