Objective. To determine if selective renal papillectomy would impair urinary concentrating ability, thereby decreasing urinary calcium concentration. Methods. Left papillectomy was performed in dogs using either incisional (n = 6) or Neodymium:yttrium-aluminum-garnet (Nd:YAG) laser (n = 5) techniques. Split renal function studies were then performed four months postoperatively to determine the effect on multiple parameters including inulin and para-aminohippurate (PAH) clearance, free water reabsorption, and calcium concentrations. Partially infarcted kidneys (n = 6) were evaluated in a similar fashion to determine the role of impaired glomerular filtration rate (GFR) in the observed concentrating defect occurring after papillectomy. Results. Papiliectomized kidneys demonstrated impaired free water reabsorption, resulting in a decreased urinary osmolality and an increased fractional excretion of water. Osmolar clearance [Na+] and Na+ excretion were unaffected by papillectomy, whereas [Ca++] was significantly reduced. While a slight defect in free water reabsorption existed following partial infarction, urinary osmolality was only minimally decreased, fractional excretion of water was unchanged, and Na+ excretion was decreased. Conclusions. The concentrating defect induced by papillectomy via either sharp excision or laser ablation is due to loss of medullary tissue and is greater than the defect resulting from impaired GFR, which is presumably due to decreased medullary solute delivery and increased flow of water in remaining nephrons. Since the physiologic consequences of papillectomy (formation of less concentrated urine with decreased [Ca++]) have potential clinical applicability, further study of this concept is warranted.
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