Association between Randall's Plaque Stone Anchors and Renal Papillary Pits

Michael S. Borofsky, James C. Williams, Casey A. Dauw, Andrew Cohen, Andrew C. Evan, Fredric L. Coe, Elaine Worcester, James E. Lingeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Introduction: Renal papillary pits are commonly encountered during ureteroscopy. The mechanism by which such pits arise is unclear. One hypothesis is that pits represent sites where stones overgrowing Randall's plaque (RP) were dislodged. We sought to examine this theory by using digital ureteroscopy and stone μCT. Materials and Methods: Patients undergoing endoscopic stone removal had procedures recorded and stones analyzed by using μCT. Stones with evidence of Randall's plaque anchors (RPAs) were identified in a blinded fashion. Surgical videos were reviewed independently by two urologists. Results: Twenty-eight patients had μCT-confirmed stones with RPA. Among them, 93% were recurrent stone formers and 75% had had prior stone procedures. Metabolic abnormalities were present in 87%, with 79% classified as idiopathic calcium oxalate stone formers. A mean of 7.6 stones with RPA were identified per procedure. In each case, papillary pits were visualized before any stone manipulation and in several cases the active dislodgement of an attached stone led to immediate identification of an underlying pit. Such stones routinely demonstrated an RPA on μCT. The average depth of RPA was 302 ± 172 μm, consistent with the corresponding shallow pits visualized on the papillary surface. Conclusions: Stones overgrowing RP are capable of pulling away a piece of papilla when dislodged, resulting in a visible papillary pit. This process manifests as an RPA on the undersurface of the stone and a papillary pit on the corresponding area of attachment. Identification of pits may help identify patients who form stones primarily by the RP mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)337-342
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of endourology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers.


  • Nephrolithiasis
  • calculus
  • ureteroscopy


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