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J Urol. 1999 Apr;161(4):1077-81.

Divergence between stone composition and urine supersaturation: clinical and laboratory implications.

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  • 1Renal Section, University of Chicago, Illinois, USA.



In general high urine supersaturation with respect to calcium oxalate, calcium phosphate or uric acid is associated with that phase in stones. We explore the exceptions when supersaturation is high and a corresponding solid phase is absent (type 1), and when the solid phase is present but supersaturation is absent or low (type 2).


Urine supersaturation values for calcium oxalate, calcium phosphate and uric acid, and other accepted stone risk factors were measured in 538 patients at a research clinic and 178 at stone prevention sites in a network served by a single laboratory.


Of the patients 14% lacked high supersaturation for the main stone constituent (type 2 structural divergence) because of high urine volume and low calcium excretion, perhaps from changes in diet and fluid intake prompted by stones. Higher calcium excretion and low urine volume caused type 1 divergences, which posed no clinical concern.


Type 1 divergence appears to represent a condition of low urine volume which raises supersaturation in general. Almost all of these patients are calcium oxalate stone formers with the expected high supersaturation with calcium oxalate as well as high uric acid and calcium phosphate supersaturations without either phase in stones. Type 2 divergence appears to represent an increase in urine volume and decrease in urine calcium excretion between stone formation and urine testing.

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