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Kidney Int. 2011 Dec;80(12):1278-91. doi: 10.1038/ki.2011.336. Epub 2011 Sep 28.

Nephrocalcinosis and urolithiasis in children.

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Division of Pediatric Nephrology, Department of Pediatrics, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.

Erratum in

  • Kidney Int. 2012 Aug;82(4):493-7.


The incidence of adult urolithiasis has increased significantly in industrialized countries over the past decades. Sound incidence rates are not available for children, nor are they known for nephrocalcinosis, which can appear as a single entity or together with urolithiasis. In contrast to the adult kidney stone patient, where environmental factors are the main cause, genetic and/or metabolic disorders are the main reason for childhood nephrocalcinosis and urolithiasis. While hypercalciuria is considered to be the most frequent risk factor, several other metabolic disorders such as hypocitraturia or hyperoxaluria, as well as a variety of renal tubular diseases, e.g., Dent's disease or renal tubular acidosis, have to be ruled out by urine and/or blood analysis. Associated symptoms such as growth retardation, intestinal absorption, or bone demineralization should be evaluated for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. Preterm infants are a special risk population with a high incidence of nephrocalcinosis arising from immature kidney, medication, and hypocitraturia. In children, concise evaluation will reveal an underlying pathomechanism in >75% of patients. Early treatment reducing urinary saturation of the soluble by increasing fluid intake and by providing crystallization inhibitors, as well as disease-specific medication, are mandatory to prevent recurrent kidney stones and/or progressive nephrocalcinosis, and consequently deterioration of renal function.

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