Stauffer Syndrome

By | June 10, 2022

Stauffer syndrome is not an independent disease, but always just a symptom complex in connection with a right-sided kidney tumor. It represents non-metastatic liver dysfunction. Treatment of this syndrome cannot be isolated from renal cancer treatment.

What is Stauffer Syndrome?

The Stauffer syndrome is a so-called paraneoplastic syndrome of a kidney carcinoma, which affects the function of the liver. A reversible symptom complex develops as part of the kidney tumor. This means that when the cause is gone, the liver dysfunction will reverse itself. Thus, Stauffer syndrome can only be cured by treating cancer of the kidney. For comprehensive guide to hypercalcemia, please visit

A paraneoplastic syndrome has nothing to do with metastases. It is caused either by an increased formation of messenger substances or hormones or by an immune reaction of the organism. In the case of Stauffer syndrome, it is the increased production of interleukin-6 and prostaglandins. Paraneoplastic syndrome is often the first sign of cancer in the body.

Since the liver is a highly complex metabolic organ, there are a variety of chain reactions of biochemical processes that no longer allow optimal liver function. Stauffer syndrome has been found to occur in nearly 100 percent of right-sided renal carcinomas. Why this is so has not yet been clarified.


As already mentioned, Stauffer syndrome is almost always associated with right-sided renal carcinoma. It is caused by increased production of interleukin-6. Why the increased formation of interleukin-6 and prostaglandins occurs is still the subject of medical research. Interleukin-6 is involved in the regulation of inflammatory processes in the body.

It stimulates the production of immune cells and certain hormones. At the same time, it increases the formation of phosphatases. These are enzymes that catalyze the splitting off of phosphate groups. The formation of the hormones cortisone, somatotropin, glucagon and adrenaline is stimulated in descending order. The increased hormone production leads to hormone-related metabolic disorders.

The stimulation of inflammatory reactions gives rise to non-specific hepatitis, which even causes necrosis of entire tissue sections of the liver. Since the formation of coagulation factors is inhibited, the thromboplastin time is prolonged. So blood clotting slows down. In addition, the concentration of albumins in the blood decreases.

This hypoalbuminemia lowers the colloid osmotic pressure in the blood plasma so that not enough water can be held in the vascular system. The result is the development of edema, with water accumulating in the interstitium. However, alpha and gamma globulins are elevated. There is also an increase in indirect bilirubin.

Indirect bilirubin is water-insoluble unconjugated bilirubin. It is converted to water-soluble conjugated bilirubin in the liver by conjugation with glucuronic acid. This function is also reduced in Stauffer syndrome.

Symptoms, Ailments & Signs

Stauffer syndrome presents with a number of distinct symptoms, most commonly weight loss. Those affected notice significant weight loss within a few days, which is often associated with deficiency symptoms such as tiredness and dizziness as well as a decrease in physical and mental performance. There is also a fever, accompanied by symptoms such as chills, exhaustion and other general symptoms.

In some patients, the fever can also cause complications such as cardiovascular problems. Disorders of consciousness up to and including loss of consciousness cannot be ruled out. In general, Stauffer syndrome causes severe exhaustion in the patient. Everyday tasks cannot be mastered or can only be mastered to a limited extent, which often leads to psychological problems.

If renal cell carcinoma is detected and removed early, the symptoms subside within a few weeks. In the absence of treatment, a progressive course of the disease can be observed. Patients suffer from increasing symptoms and dysfunctions of the internal organs.

Ultimately, Stauffer syndrome leads to the death of the patient. External signs of the disease can be pale skin, sunken eye sockets and other typical signs of the disease. In isolated cases, swelling in the area of ​​the liver can be observed, combined with pressure pain and discomfort.

Diagnosis & course of disease

Stauffer syndrome can be easily diagnosed by changing characteristic laboratory values. However, other causes of liver dysfunction such as liver metastases or infectious forms of hepatitis should be excluded in the differential diagnosis. Good indications of Stauffer syndrome are elevated alkaline phosphatase, elevated indirect bilirubin, elevated alpha-2-globulin and gamma-GT, decreased albumin, and decreased prothrombin.

A bromsulphthalein test should also be performed. Increased retention of bromsulphthalein in the blood also indicates Stauffer syndrome. In the bromsulphthalein test, the dye bromsulphthalein is administered intravenously. Normally, this dye immediately binds to the albumin and is excreted in the bile.

However, if the level of albumin in the blood is too low, it cannot be fully bound. Free bromosulphthalein absorbs light in a certain wavelength range. The concentration of the dye can be determined by absorbance measurements. High extinction values ​​indicate liver dysfunction.


Stauffer syndrome is a constellation of liver symptoms that occurs as a result of a tumor in the right kidney. It ensures that the function of the liver is massively impaired, which causes the patient further unpleasant subsequent problems. However, if the kidney carcinoma is treated medically in detail, the Staufer syndrome can also heal completely.

If the kidney is free of metastases, the tumor can be surgically removed relatively easily. The liver function is then completely restored as part of the therapy. The diagnosis does not only affect older people. Young people who are prone to kidney problems should therefore take regular check-ups.

As a result, many other complications can be avoided or recognized in good time. If the symptom is not treated, a counterproductive chemical chain reaction occurs in the patient’s body due to the liver not working properly. Rapid, almost unstoppable weight loss, severe bouts of fever and almost all the side effects that cause fatigue syndrome make those affected noticeably weaker and weaker.

The liver becomes inflamed and can no longer detoxify itself. It becomes susceptible to pathogens and infections, such as hepatitis. If the kidney carcinoma is too severe and cannot be treated successfully, the Stauffer syndrome worsens and edema and cirrhosis of the liver develop.

When should you go to the doctor?

Stauffer syndrome must be treated in any case. If left untreated, the tumor can spread to other parts of the body. Renal insufficiency can also occur, which can lead to the death of the patient. For this reason, Stauffer syndrome must be treated. A doctor should be consulted if the person concerned feels tired and exhausted for no particular reason. Those affected also have trouble sleeping and suffer from irritability.

The concentration of those affected can also be disturbed by the Stauffer syndrome and it is not uncommon for a greatly reduced resilience. These symptoms require immediate examination and treatment by a doctor. The liver is usually also inflamed and needs to be examined as well. An examination is also necessary in the event of sudden weight loss and severe bouts of fever. First and foremost, a general practitioner can be consulted. If the symptoms are severe, the person concerned can go to a hospital. Immediate treatment of Stauffer syndrome is usually necessary.

Treatment & Therapy

Since Stauffer syndrome is always caused by right-sided kidney cancer, it cannot be treated in isolation from the underlying kidney cancer. As a symptom complex, the syndrome is reversible. If the kidney cancer is treated successfully, in most cases the Stauffer syndrome also goes away on its own.

Only if permanent damage is already present in the liver will liver dysfunction continue to occur, but its treatment can be successful after the underlying kidney cancer has disappeared. Kidney carcinoma can still be easily surgically removed in the early stages without the presence of metastases.

In the case of inoperable kidney tumors, the course of the disease can be delayed with medication. However, there is no longer any possibility of successfully treating Stauffer syndrome.

Outlook & Forecast

Stauffer syndrome can usually be treated relatively well. If the treatment itself is successful, the patient will not experience any further discomfort or complications. However, Stauffer syndrome is not treated alone. It is part of the treatment of a kidney tumor and occurs as a symptom. In this case, it is also reversible and does not cause permanent damage to the body.

If the treatment of the tumor is successful, the Stauffer syndrome will also disappear on its own and no additional treatment is necessary. If the tumor is detected early, it can be surgically removed without causing any further problems. However, if the liver has already been damaged before the disease, certain disorders or malfunctions of the organ can still occur.

In the case of a tumor that cannot be removed, Stauffer syndrome will not go away on its own. This is treated with medication. However, these cannot treat the syndrome completely, but only delay its effect. In order to prevent the syndrome, regular check-ups should be carried out in old age.


The prevention of Stauffer syndrome can only be considered in connection with the prevention of renal carcinoma because Stauffer syndrome does not occur in isolation. There are some risk factors for developing kidney cancer. These include smoking, long-term therapy with analgesics and exposure to environmental toxins such as lead, cadmium or chlorinated hydrocarbons.

In the case of congenital kidney diseases such as Hippel-Lindau disease, lifelong preventive therapy is necessary to prevent the development of kidney cancer.


In most cases, those affected with Stauffer syndrome only have very limited options for direct follow-up care. Therefore, the affected person should ideally consult a doctor at an early stage in order to prevent the occurrence of other symptoms and complications.

Since this is a congenital disease, Stauffer syndrome cannot be completely cured. Therefore, even if you want to have children, a genetic examination and counseling should first be carried out in order to prevent Stauffer syndrome from reoccurring in the children and descendants.

Most of those affected are dependent on regular check-ups and examinations by a doctor in the course of their lives. As a result, further damage to the liver can be recognized relatively well and thus treated at an early stage. Likewise, in some cases, the help and support of one’s own family is necessary to prevent depression or other mental illnesses. Stauffer syndrome can, in some cases, reduce the life expectancy of the person affected.

You can do that yourself

Since Stauffer syndrome only occurs in connection with existing kidney cancer, it is primarily necessary to cure it. This requires specialist treatment by an internist or an oncologist. Ideally, the kidney tumor can be surgically removed. If the cancer is completely cured, the symptoms of Stauffer syndrome also disappear.

Those affected should ensure a healthy lifestyle, both preventively and postoperatively. This includes abstaining from nicotine and alcohol as well as eating food rich in vital substances and minerals. A daily fluid intake of at least two liters, consisting of still mineral water or unsweetened herbal teas, promotes cleansing of the body and stimulates the metabolism. At the same time, minerals – whether in liquid or solid form – ensure a balanced acid-base balance. The alkaline diet and micro substance therapy reduces inflammation in the body and thus successfully contributes to the self-healing process. The intake of special dietary supplements is also conceivable in this context.

An increased concentration of heavy metals in the body puts additional strain on the kidneys. The increased consumption of painkillers, such as analgesics, also acts as a risk factor for this disease. A medically supervised detoxification can be considered as a preventive and rehabilitation measure. If the tumor cannot be removed, long-term medication is required. In this case, those affected can only relieve their body by taking the measures described.

Stauffer Syndrome