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Am J Med. 1982 Feb;72(2):289-307.

Disorders of distal nephron function.


In this review, the distal nephron is considered to be that portion of the renal tubule commencing with the thick ascending limb of the loop of Henle and ending with the papillary collecting duct. The collecting duct, including its subdivisions in the cortex and medulla, originates from a different embryologic anlage than more proximal nephron segments, which may explain its morphologic and functional dissimilarities from the thick ascending limb and the distal convoluted tubule. This review summarizes selected aspects of the physiology of the distal nephron, with particular emphasis on the physiology of distal nephron transport of sodium, potassium, chloride and hydrogen ion. The pathophysiologic features of the following disorders of distal nephron function are reviewed: (1) pseudohypoaldosteronism, a heterogenous group of disorders in which the signs and symptoms are suggestive of aldosterone deficiency, but in which aldosterone levels are supernormal and administration of exogenous mineralocorticoid is not ameliorative; (2) pseudohyperaldosteronism (Liddle syndrome), a familial disorder in which the clinical manifestations closely resemble those resulting from an aldosterone-producing adenoma of the adrenal gland (primary aldosteronism), but in which the measured rate of aldosterone secretion and excretion is greatly subnormal; (3) Bartter syndrome and related syndromes of renal potassium wasting; (4) type 1 renal tubular acidosis (classic, distal); (5) type 4 renal tubular acidosis (hyperkalemic). Reference citations are generally to articles reporting recent advances in these areas and to review articles that contain comprehensive bibliographies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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