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Kidney Int. 1990 Jan;37(1):51-6.

Crystal agglomeration is a major element in calcium oxalate urinary stone formation.

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Department of Endocrinology, University Hospital Leiden, The Netherlands.


The effects of urines from 36 healthy subjects and 86 calcium oxalate renal stone formers on calcium oxalate monohydrate crystallization kinetics were studied using a seeded crystal growth method in which the solubility, the growth and the agglomeration of the crystals are measured as three separate and system-independent parameters. The urines of healthy subjects were found to increase the solubility and to strongly inhibit the growth and the agglomeration of calcium oxalate monohydrate crystals. The urines of stone formers had a similar effect on the solubility, but a significantly lower ability to inhibit the crystal growth and the crystal agglomeration. Of these two kinetic processes the inhibition of crystal agglomeration was more clearly affected, with 55% of the stone formers having abnormally low values, while the changes in crystal growth inhibition occurred within the normal range. The defect in crystal agglomeration inhibition was related to stone frequency, and urines from patients with very high stone frequency rates had also the most severely impaired ability to inhibit the agglomeration of the calcium oxalate monohydrate crystals. The inhibitory effect of urines on crystal agglomeration was found to be related to its citrate content (r = 0.68, P less than 0.001). All patients with hypocitraturia, except two, had also abnormally low values for crystal agglomeration inhibition. In a group of 15 hypocitraturic stone formers, alkali treatment for a mean period of 18 months resulted in a parallel increase in urinary citrate excretion and in the ability of urines to inhibit crystal agglomeration (r = 0.77, P less than 0.001).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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