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      Urea Recycling: An Aid to the Excretion of Potassium during Antidiuresis

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          Abstract

          Urea absorption in the inner medullary collecting duct provides a mechanism to elevate the concentration of urea in the papillary interstitial fluid and thereby permit the excretion of urea with as little water as possible. Urea reabsorption may have another important effect – to aid in the excretion of potassium (K). K excretion depends on two processes: first, factors such as aldosterone which cause the concentration of K in the luminal fluid of the cortical distal nephron to be high and, second, factors which augment the flow rate through those nephron segments. Since the osmolality of the luminal fluid in the cortical collecting duct (CCD) and plasma are equal when antidiuretic hormone acts, the flow rate in the CCD is dependent on solute delivery. Urea is a major solute in the lumen of the CCD and thereby plays an important role in maintaining the CCD flow rate. Since urea and K are often found in the same foods, having urea help the excretion of K is potentially advantageous. If the excretion of urea was low, the flow rate in the terminal CCD would decline. In this circumstance, the luminal K concentration would have to rise in proportion to the fall in flow rate or there would be a diminished rate of excretion of K and, possibly, hyperkalemia.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          NEF
          Nephron
          10.1159/issn.1660-8151
          Nephron
          S. Karger AG
          1660-8151
          2235-3186
          1996
          1996
          18 December 2008
          : 72
          : 4
          : 507-511
          Affiliations
          aRenal Divisions, St. Michael’s Hospital, and bLaboratoire d’Explorations Fonctionnelles Rénales, CHU de Nancy, France; cDepartment of Physiology, University of Toronto, Canada; dCampus of SUNY, Brooklyn, N.Y., USA
          Article
          188930 Nephron 1996;72:507–511
          10.1159/000188930
          8730412
          © 1996 S. Karger AG, Basel

          Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

          Page count
          Pages: 5
          Categories
          Controversies in Nephrology

          Cardiovascular Medicine, Nephrology

          Urea, AIDS, Osmolality, Potassium, Sodium, Trimethoprim, Water

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