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renal physiology

Mg & K

It is well known that hypokalemia does not correct easily if it is accompanied by hypomagnesemia. A medical student I met looked into this topic and found a “Science in Renal Medicine” article. According to this article, one of…

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Fractional Excretion

The fractional excretion of sodium (FeNa) is a test that is often used in the setting of acute renal failure to help distinguish between pre-renal and intra-renal causes that has been mentioned in previous blog posts. In general,…

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Surviving Stress in the Kidney Medulla

Hypertonicity in kidney medullary interstitium is essential for urinary concentration. Osmolality in the papillary interstitium can reach up to 1200 mOsm/kg. How do cells in the renal medullary interstitium survive this hypertonic stress? Virtually all cells respond to…

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Mind the Gap

As Nate mentioned in a previous post, the urinary anion gap is helpful in differentiating whether a non-gap acidosis is of renal or extra-renal origin. Urinary Anion Gap = Na + K – Cl Because the major cation…

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The Bezold-Jarisch reflex

This intriguing set of clinical signs was discovered by von Bezold and Hirt in 1867 – they found that injection of a veratrum alkaloid caused bradycardia, hypotension and apnea. In the 1930’s Jarisch and Richter were performing similar…

Hot peppers for hypertension?

An interesting article was published in the August 4th edition of Cell Metabolism. I’m always intrigued when common food ingredients are used to modulate biological systems. This article explores the effect of capsaicin on blood vessel tone. Capsaicin…

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