Symptomatic renal papillary varicosities and medullary nephrocalcinosis

Brent Cleveland, Michael Borofsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Nephrocalcinosis is often asymptomatic but can manifest with renal colic or hematuria. There is no reported association between nephrocalcinosis and renal vascular malformations, which may also be a source of hematuria. We herein present a case of a patient with hematuria related to nephrocalcinosis and renal papillary varicosities. These varicosities were diagnosed and successfully treated with flexible ureteroscopy and laser fulguration. Case presentation: A 24-year-old female with a history of epilepsy (on zonisamide), recent uncomplicated pregnancy, and new diagnosis of nephrocalcinosis presented with right flank pain and intermittent gross hematuria. Imaging revealed intermittent right sided hydronephrosis. A cystoscopy identified hematuria from the right ureteral orifice. Diagnostic flexible ureteroscopy revealed numerous intrapapillary renal stones and varicose veins of several renal papillae. A 200 μm holmium laser fiber was used to unroof these stones and fulgurate the varicosities with resolution of her symptoms for several months. She later presented with left-sided symptoms and underwent left ureteroscopy with similar findings and identical successful treatment. Conclusion: Unilateral hematuria from discrete vascular lesions of the renal collecting system may be obscured by other benign co-existing conditions, such as nephrocalcinosis and nephrolithiasis. Although a simultaneous presentation is rare, flexible ureteroscopy with laser fulguration offers an ideal diagnostic and therapeutic modality for these concurrent conditions if symptoms arise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number164
JournalBMC Urology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).


  • Case report
  • Essential hematuria
  • Laser fulguration
  • Nephrocalcinosis
  • Renal papillary varicosity
  • Renal vascular malformation


Dive into the research topics of 'Symptomatic renal papillary varicosities and medullary nephrocalcinosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this