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The nature of urinary casts
  1. E. G. McQueen1
  1. Department of Experimental Pathology, University of Birmingham


    The composition of hyaline casts has been investigated. The major constituent appears to be the urinary mucoprotein described by Tamm and Horsfall. Small amounts only of serum proteins are present.

    Neither the amounts excreted nor the concentration of Tamm-Horsfall protein appeared to determine the rate of cast formation. The only invariable association of hyaline cast formation was with the presence of significant amounts of serum proteins in the urine.

    In vitro it was found that aqueous solutions of serum albumin were particularly effective in producing precipitation of Tamm-Horsfall protein. This interaction was inhibited in normal urine but occurred to a greater extent in nephrotic urine and is suggested as the possible mechanism of hyaline cast formation.

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    • 1 On leave from the Department of Medicine, University of Otago, New Zealand.