Tumor lysis syndrome (TLS) presenting in absence of chemotherapy is a rare occurrence. One of the true oncological emergencies, it can lead to significant morbidity and mortality. TLS is a phenomena usually associated with tumor cell death after treatment. The etiology of the spontaneous TLS is not well understood, which complicates the diagnosis. TLS is well known to oncologists but physicians outside of this specialty have little or no experience with this condition. Early recognition and treatment are the keys to limiting the sequela of the condition. Spontaneous tumor lysis syndrome is rare but presents added risks to the patient because of the potential for delayed diagnosis and no benefit of pretreatment. Diagnosis may be further delayed because this may be the first symptom of underlying malignancy. Therefore, it is imperative that all clinicians are familiar with the syndrome to assure timely recognition.
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