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J Am Soc Nephrol. 2005 Feb;16(2):417-24. Epub 2005 Jan 12.

Thiazides reduce brushite, but not calcium oxalate, supersaturation, and stone formation in genetic hypercalciuric stone-forming rats.

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Department of Medicine, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Strong Memorial Hospital, 601 Elmwood Avenue, Box 675, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.


Over 59 generations, a strain of rats has been inbred to maximize urine calcium excretion. The rats now excrete eight to 10 times as much calcium as controls. These rats uniformly form calcium phosphate (apatite) kidney stones and have been termed genetic hypercalciuric stone-forming (GHS) rats. The addition of a common amino acid and oxalate precursor, hydroxyproline, to the diet of the GHS rats leads to formation of calcium oxalate (CaOx) kidney stones. Hydroxyproline-supplemented GHS rats were used to test the hypothesis that the thiazide diuretic chlorthalidone would decrease urine calcium excretion, supersaturation, and perhaps stone formation. All GHS rats received a fixed amount of a standard 1.2% calcium diet with 5% trans-4-hydroxy-l-proline (hydroxyproline) so that the rats would exclusively form CaOx stones. Half of the rats had chlorthalidone (Thz; 4 to 5 mg/kg per d) added to their diets. Urine was collected weekly, and at the conclusion of the study, the kidneys, ureters, and bladders were radiographed for the presence of stones. Compared with control, the addition of Thz led to a significant reduction of urine calcium and phosphorus excretion, whereas urine oxalate excretion increased. Supersaturation with respect to the calcium hydrogen phosphate fell, whereas supersaturation with respect to CaOx was unchanged. Rats that were fed Thz had fewer stones. As calcium phosphate seems to be the preferred initial solid phase in patients with CaOx kidney stones, the reduction in supersaturation with respect to the calcium phosphate solid phase may be the mechanism by which thiazides reduce CaOx stone formation.

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