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Int Urol Nephrol. 2010 Jun;42(2):471-5. doi: 10.1007/s11255-009-9623-0. Epub 2009 Aug 4.

Clinical and metabolic risk factor evaluation in young adults with kidney stones.

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Instituto de Investigaciones Metabólicas, Universidad del Salvador, Libertad 836 1 piso, Buenos Aires 1012, Argentina.



The most frequent urine metabolic risk factor in adults is idiopathic hypercalciuria while in children is hypocitraturia. If there is really a change of metabolic abnormalities with age it would be interesting to study risk factors in the intermediate population: young adults.


We evaluated metabolic risk factors, clinical presentation and family history of stone formers between 17 and 27 years old.


A total of 160 patients (87 males and 73 females) were studied with a standard protocol.


A single urine metabolic risk factor was present in 64% of the patients, and multiple risk factors were present in 27% of them. No metabolic abnormalities were found in the remaining 9%. The most common urine risk factor was idiopathic hypercalciuria (alone or in combination), which was identified in 42.5% followed by hypocitraturia (alone or in combination) found in 32.9% of the patients. In the subgroup of patients of 17-20 years (n = 75; mean age of 18.8 + or - 1.0 years), hypocitraturia (alone or in combination) was as frequent as idiopathic hypercalciuria (alone or in combination), which was identified in 38% (n = 30) and 36.7% (n = 29), respectively. The most frequent form of presentation was renal colic (72%). A positive family history of stone disease in first degree and second-degree relatives was found in 32.9 and 34.1%, respectively.


Metabolic abnormalities were found in 91% of young adults with renal lithiasis, similar to our adult series. Hypercalciuria was the most frequent metabolic abnormality found. Yet, hypocitraturia (alone or in combination) was very frequent, and in the subgroup of patients of 17-20 years, it was as frequent as idiopathic hypercalciuria, similar to what we found in children.

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