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Renal papillary necrosis
Classification and external resources
ICD-10 N17.2
ICD-9 584.7
DiseasesDB 9572
eMedicine med/2839 radio/523
MeSH D007681

Renal papillary necrosis is a form of nephropathy involving the necrosis of the renal papilla,[1] which is supplied by the vasa recta.


Analgesic nephropathy is a cause of renal papillary necrosis.[2] The damage is cumulative and most patients of renal papillary necrosis would have ingested at least 20kg of analgesics in the past. The risk is higher for phenacetin and acetaminophen compared to aspirin and other NSAIDs. Combination analgesic products, such as Goody's, also have a high risk of causing papillary necrosis.

It can be an outcome of chronic analgesic nephritis, with persistent use or abuse of phenacetin or its derivatives (such as Acetaminophen). This is less common since phenacetin is no longer available over the counter. But is more common when patient's taken combination analgesic products for an extended period of time.

It is also caused by diabetes mellitus and vaso-occlusive sickle cell crisises, in which it is related to renal infection or vascular disease.

It can also occur as a result of acute pyelonephritis or sickle cell disease.[3]


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