Chronic kidney disease (CKD) represents an important health problem in the entire global population, where knowledge of the environmental factors associated with this disease is currently essential for its prevention. Several heavy metals are recognized, including Cadmium (Cd), Lead (Pb), Arsenic (As) and Mercury (Hg), which are clearly associated with renal damage and progression of CKD. Studies in animals and humans primarily demonstrate a clear association between exposure to these metals and the presence of chronic renal damage, where the pathophysiology of each of these metals is important in understanding the mechanism of renal damage. The present review aims to analyze the pathophysiology and clinical manifestations of the nephrotoxicity associated with these metals, as well as the different studies in both humans and animals that have been performed.
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