High frequency and wide range of human kidney papillary crystalline plugs

Abstract : Most of kidney stones are supposed to originate from Randall's plaque at the tip of the papilla or from papillary tubular plugs. Nevertheless, the frequency and the composition of crystalline plugs remain only partly described. The objective was to assess the frequency, the composition and the topography of papillary plugs in human kidneys. A total of 76 papillae from 25 kidneys removed for cancer and without stones were analysed by immunohistochemistry combined with Yasue staining, field emission-scanning electron microscopy and Fourier transformed infrared micro-spectroscopy. Papillary tubular plugs have been observed by Yasue staining in 23/25 patients (92%) and 52/76 papillae (68%). Most of these plugs were made of calcium phosphate, mainly carbonated apatite and amorphous calcium phosphate, and rarely octacalcium phosphate pen-tahydrate. Calcium and magnesium phosphate (whitlockite) have also been observed. Based upon immunostaining coupled to Yasue coloration, most of calcium phosphate plugs were located in the deepest part of the loop of Henle. Calcium oxalate monohydrate and dihydrate tubular plugs were less frequent and stood in collecting ducts. At last, we observed calcium phosphate plugs deforming and sometimes breaking adjacent collecting ducts. Papillary tubular plugging, which may be considered as a potential first step toward kidney stone formation, is a very frequent setting, even in kidneys of non-stone formers. The variety in their composition and the distal precipitation of calcium oxalate suggest that plugs may occur in various conditions of urine supersaturation. Plugs were sometimes associated with collecting duct deformation.
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Léa Huguet, Marine Le Dudal, Marine Livrozet, Dominique Bazin, Vincent Frochot, et al.. High frequency and wide range of human kidney papillary crystalline plugs. Urolithiasis -Springer-, Springer Verlag, In press, 46 (4), pp.333-341. ⟨10.1007/s00240-017-1031-9⟩. ⟨hal-01822535⟩

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