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Kidney anatomy
Kidney anatomy


Kidney - blood and urine flow
Kidney - blood and urine flow


Definition:

Renal papillary necrosis is a disorder of the kidneys in which all or part renal papillae die. The renal papillae is the area where the openings of the collecting ducts enter the kidney.



Alternative Names:

Necrosis - renal papillae; Renal medullary necrosis



Causes, incidence, and risk factors:

Renal papillary necrosis is most commonly associated with analgesic nephropathy . However, a number of conditions can cause this condition, including:

Sickle cell anemia is a common cause of renal papillary necrosis in children.



Symptoms:

Necrosis (tissue death) of the renal papillae may make the kidney unable to concentrate the urine. Symptoms may include:

Additional symptoms that may be associated with this disease:



Signs and tests:

An examination may reveal tenderness when touching the body over the affected kidney. There may be a history of chronic or recurrent urinary tract infections. There may be signs of obstructive uropathy or renal failure.

A urinalysis may show dead tissue in the urine.

An IVP may show obstruction or tissue in the renal pelvis or ureter.



Treatment:

There is no specific treatment for renal papillary necrosis. Treatment depends on the underlying cause. For example, if analgesic nephropathy is suspected as the cause, your doctor will recommend that you stop using the suspected medications. This may allow healing over time.



Support Groups:



Expectations (prognosis):

How well a person does depends on the underlying condition. If the underlying disorder can be controlled, the condition may go away on its own. In some cases, persons with this condition develop kidney failure.



Calling your health care provider:

Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you have bloody urine . Also call if other symptoms of renal papillary necrosis develop, especially after taking over-the-counter pain medications.



Prevention:

Control of diabetes or sickle cell anemia may reduce risk. Prevention of renal papillary necrosis from analgesic nephropathy includes careful moderation in the use of medications, including over-the-counter analgesics.




Review Date: 8/14/2007
Reviewed By: Charles Silberberg, DO, Private Practice specializing in Nephrology, affiliated with New York Medical College, Division of Nephrology, Valhalla, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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