Objective: This study was conducted to assess the reliability and precision of an endoscopic grading scale to identify renal papillary abnormalities across a spectrum of equipment, locations, graders, and patients. Materials and Methods: Intra- and interobserver reliability of the papillary grading system was assessed using weighted kappa scoring among 4 graders reviewing a single renal papilla from 50 separate patients on 2 occasions. Grading was then applied to a cohort of patients undergoing endoscopic stone removal procedures at two centers. Patient factors were compared with papillary scores on the level of the papilla, kidney, and patient. Results: Graders achieved substantial (kappa >0.6) intra- and inter-rater reliability in scored domains of ductal plugging, surface pitting, and loss of contour. Agreement for Randall's Plaque (RP) was moderate. Papillary scoring was then performed for 76 patients (89 kidneys, 533 papillae). A significant association was discovered between pitting and RP that held both within and across institutions. A general linear model was then created to further assess this association and it was found that RP score was a highly significant independent correlate of pitting score (F = 7.1; p < 0.001). Mean pitting scores increased smoothly and progressively with increasing RP scores. Sums of the scored domains were then calculated as a reflection of gross papillary abnormality. When analyzed in this way, a history of stone recurrence and shockwave lithotripsy were strongly predictive of higher sums. Conclusions: Renal papillary pathology can be reliably assessed between different providers using a newly described endoscopic grading scale. Application of this scale to stone-forming patients suggests that the degree of RP appreciated in the papilla is strongly associated with the presence of pitting. It also suggests that patients with a history of recurrent stones and lithotripsy have greater burdens of gross papillary disease.
- Randall's plaque