Calcium Containing Kidney StonesAs stated above, approximately 75% of kidney stones contain calcium. The most common calcium containing stones include: calcium oxalate (60%), followed by hydroxyapatite (20%) and the rare, brushite (2%) stones. The most common metabolic abnormalities associated with calcium-containing kidney stones include:
containing stone is
- hypercalciuria (most common abnormality)
In general, these metabolic abnormalities lead to supersaturation of the urine with calcium. Supersaturation refers to the condition when more solute (i.e. calcium) is in a fluid (i.e. urine) that can be chemically dissolved. The above conditions either increase the amount of calcium in the urine, alter the pH (acidic content of the urine) or modify the likelihood of stones to form.
|Electron microscopy of calcium |
Calcium Oxalate Stones
Both calcium and oxalate are naturally occuring chemicals in the body and the urine. Therefore, calcium oxalate stones can form with a variety of conditions that lead to increased calcium in the urine (hypercalciuria) and oxalate (naturally found in vegetables, fruits and nuts). One common factor is that calcium oxalate stones often form when the urine is alkaline (pH>5.5).
|The needle-like crystals of calcium|
phosphate in the urine.
Calcium Phosphate StonesLike calcium oxalate stones, calcium phosphate stones are made of normally occurring components of the urine when the urine pH is alkaline (>7.0). Calcium phosphate stones are also known as apatite or brushite stones. Calcium phosphate stones form needle-like crystals in the urine (below).
Non-Calcium Containing Stones
|Uric acid crystals.|
Uric Acid StonesUric Acid (7%) stones form only in acid urine. People more likely to form uric acid stones have conditions that predispose to acidic urine including: low urine output, a diet high in animal protein (such as red meat), high alcohol intake, and may have obesity, gout or inflammatory bowel disease.
|The coffin-lid appearance of struvite|
stones in the urine.
|Cystine kidney stones.|
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