Endoscopic mapping of renal papillae for Randall's plaques in patients with urinary stone disease

Roger K. Low, Marshall L. Stoller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

92 Scopus citations


Purpose: Papillary 'Randall's plaques' are theorized to act as nidi for urinary stone formation. The aim of this study was to document the presence, pattern and distribution of Randall's plaques in patients undergoing endoscopic procedures for urinary stone disease. Materials and Methods: Patients undergoing either ureteroscopy or percutaneous nephroscopy for removal of urinary stones underwent endoscopic mapping of accessible calices. These patients were compared to a smaller group of patients undergoing endoscopic procedures for conditions unrelated to urinary stone disease. In patients found to have papillary plaques the presence, location and pattern of plaques were recorded. Plaque formation was correlated with patient age and sex, and primary composition of extricated stone. Results: Endoscopic evidence of papillary Randall's plaques was found in 74% of 57 patients having ureteroscopic (21) or percutaneous (36) stone removal. Of 7 patients having endoscopic procedures for conditions unrelated to urinary stone disease 3 (43%) had evidence of papillary plaques. Plaques were found uniformly throughout all calices and most commonly diffusely scattered over the papillary surface. There was no correlation between patient age or sex and the presence of plaques. The incidence of plaques varied with the primary composition of extracted stones, and was 100% for calcium phosphate and uric acid, 88% for calcium oxalate, 33% for cystine and 20% for struvite. The incidence of papillary plaques was significantly more common in patients with calcium oxalate (88 versus 43%, p = 0.023) and calcium phosphate stones (100 versus 43%, p = 0.009) than patients without a history of urinary stone disease. Conclusions: The endoscopic incidence of papillary Randall's plaques in patients with urolithiasis varies with the primary composition of formed urinary stones. Randall's plaques are found in the majority of patients with calcium urinary stone disease. Our findings suggest that the presence of papillary plaques is associated with calcium nephrolithiasis and may contribute to the pathogenesis of calcium urinary stones.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2062-2064
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1997



  • Endoscopy
  • Pathogenicity
  • Urinary calculi

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

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