The diagnosis of Bartter's syndrome was made in a 9-month-old boy investigated for poor weight and height gain. Initial treatment with oral potassium supplements and later spironolactone had little or no effect on his growth, although plasma potassium rose to normal after spironolactone. At 33 months indomethacin therapy was started with dramatic results. His symptoms went and his height and weight accelerated into the normal range. In view of the toxicity of indomethacin it was replaced after 12 months by another prostaglandin synthetase inhibitor, ketoprofen, with a satisfactory result. During the change-over period from indomethacin to ketoprofen the expected deterioration in clinical well-being was observed, accompanied by a rise in urinary prostaglandins and plasma renin activity. Prostaglandin synthetase inhibitors provide the best available treatment for Bartter's syndrome.
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