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J Xray Sci Technol. 2012;20(2):175-86. doi: 10.3233/XST-2012-0327.

Mineralogical and morphological investigation of kidney stones of a Mediterranean region (Basilicata, Italy).

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  • 1Laboratory of Environmental and Medical Geology, IMAA-CNR, Tito Scalo-PZ, Italy.

Erratum in

  • J Xray Sci Technol. 2012;20(3):383.


Kidney stones are a very frequent finding in southern Italy, but stone analysis is not routinely performed. However, it is an important requirement not only for a successful treatment of this disease, but also for the prophylaxis to prevent any recurrence. We therefore set out to analyze 80 kidney stones collected from Basilicata Region (Southern, Italy). X-ray powder diffraction as well as optical and scanning electron microscopy and petrographic thin section analysis have been applied in order to determine the mineralogical and morphological compositions. The internal structure and the relation between major and minor components have facilitated the classification of the kidney stones according to a detailed scheme. As it is known from other country, calcium oxalate stones were the most frequent (59%) [39% mainly composed of whewellite, CaC₂O₄*H₂O and 29% is mainly made of weddellite, CaC₂O₄*2H₂O]. Uric acid stones were abundant too (18%). Calcium phosphate and cystine stone were less. The results of the observations of kidney stones in thin petrographic sections led to the identification of more cores in the same whewellite kidney stones. In some kidney stones the core is not situated in the central zone, which represents the point of attachment on kidney wall. Basilicata kidney stone prevalence is different from the average prevalence determined in other Mediterranean areas. The comparison showed that calcium oxalate stones seem to be more frequent, and there is a high prevalence of uric acid kidney stones and a lower prevalence of phosphate kidney stones, especially hydroxyapatite. The relative increase frequency of uric acid stones in the northern part of the Region may be due to high-purine diets and softness water consumption.

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