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Journal: Urolithiasis


Prevention of recurrent calcium stone disease includes treatment with thiazide and thiazide-type diuretics to reduce urinary calcium (UCa) levels, with the reduction in UCa correlating with risk of stone recurrence. There has been a recent trend of using lower doses of these medications and change from chlorthalidone (CTL) use to hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) use. It is unknown whether low doses of HCTZ are effective in lowering UCa levels to target levels. We hypothesize that HCTZ is associated with less reduction in UCa than is CTL when comparing currently used doses. Retrospective observational study of stone-formers was seen in metabolic stone clinic during a 3 years period. Data included patient demographics, co-morbidities, and 24 h urine electrolyte composition. Primary outcome was the change in 24 h UCa. 322 patients were identified with 112 meeting criteria and used in analysis. The majority were placed on HCTZ (n = 42) or CTL (n = 47) 25 mg QD. Patients on CTL 25 mg had a greater reduction in UCa (164 mg; 41 %) than those on HCTZ (85 mg; 21 %), p = 0.01. Neither CTL nor HCTZ at 12.5 mg QD significantly lowered UCa. There was a decrease in serum [K] of 0.5 Meq/L (p = 0.001) in patients on CTL 25 mg daily, but no significant difference in severe hypokalemia or arrhythmia compared to HCTZ. Our data show that CTL is associated with greater reduction in 24 h UCa compared to similarly dosed HCTZ.

Concepts: Kidney, Observational study, Urinary bladder, Urethra, Gout, Diuretic, Hydrochlorothiazide, Hypokalemia


Herbal remedies are increasingly being considered as suitable long-term treatments for renal dysfunction. The objective of the present study was to investigate the effect of some herbal extracts, all previously identified in published studies as influencing kidney stone formation, on the crystallization characteristics of calcium oxalate (CaOx) in synthetic urine (SU). Five herbal extracts were selected for the study: Folium pyrrosiae, Desmodium styracifolium, Phyllanthus niruri, Orthosiphon stamineus and Cystone(®). Concentrated stock solutions of each herbal extract were prepared and were tested at their recommended dosages in in vitro crystallization studies in SU. CaOx crystallization experiments were performed in which the metastable limit (MSL), average particle size, and nucleation and growth rates were determined. The CaOx MSL of SU was unaltered by the five herbal extracts. Three of the herbs (Desmodium styracifolium, Orthosiphon stamineus and Cystone(®)) significantly reduced the average particle size of precipitated crystals relative to undosed SU. All of the extracts increased the rate of nucleation and decreased the rate of growth significantly in SU. Cystone(®) showed the greatest effect on the measured risk factors. It is concluded that all of the herbs have the potential to serve as inhibitors of calcium oxalate stone formation and warrant investigation in clinical trials.

Concepts: Kidney, Crystallization, Herbalism, Kidney stone, Nucleation, Calcium oxalate, Phyllanthus, Phyllanthus niruri


This study aimed at comparing the success rates of silodosin to the most commonly used for medical expulsive therapy (MET) tamsulosin for the management of ureteral stones. A systematic review using the search string: “silodosin AND (ston* OR calcu* OR expul*)” was conducted on Pubmed, SCOPUS, Web of Science, Cochrane Central Register. The Primary endpoint was the stone expulsion rate. Secondary endpoint was the time to stone expulsion. Two authors independently screened the studies depending on inclusion and exclusion criteria. Meta-analysis and forest-plot figures were calculated with the software Review Manager (RevMan 5.3.5). Variations were evaluated with the χ (2) statistical method and heterogeneity with I (2) index. After screening of 39 publications obtained by the initial search, three randomized controlled trials were eligible to be included in the meta-analysis. 407 patients were pooled. Favorable results were observed for silodosin in terms of stone expulsion rates with a risk ratio of 1.33 (95 % CI 1.17-1.50) (I (2) = 0 %). Similarly, faster stone expulsion times were observed with silodosin when compared with tamsulosin. Mean difference -2.49 (95 % CI -3.40 to 1.58) (I (2) = 89 %). This meta-analysis showed significantly higher stone expulsion rates and faster expulsion times in favor of silodosin when compared to tamsulosin.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Statistics, Evidence-based medicine, Systematic review, Randomized controlled trial, Stone


Primary hyperoxaluria (PH) patients overproduce oxalate because of rare genetic errors in glyoxylate metabolism. Recurrent urolithiasis and/or progressive nephrocalcinosis are PH hallmarks and can lead to kidney damage, systemic oxalosis and death. Based on previous studies, we hypothesised that treatment with the oxalate-metabolizing bacterium Oxalobacter formigenes would mediate active elimination of oxalate from the plasma to the intestine of PH patients, thereby reducing urinary oxalate excretion (Uox). The efficacy and safety of O. formigenes (Oxabact™ OC3) were evaluated for 24 weeks in a randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind study. The primary endpoint was reduction in Uox. Secondary endpoints included change in plasma oxalate (Pox) concentration, frequency of stone events, number of responders, and Uox in several subgroups. Additional post hoc analyses were conducted. Thirty-six patients were randomised; two patients withdrew from placebo treatment. Both OC3 and placebo groups demonstrated a decrease in Uox/urinary creatinine ratio, but the difference was not statistically significant. No differences were observed with respect to change in Pox concentration, stone events, responders' number or safety measures. In patients with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) < 90 mL/min/1.73 m(2), Pox increased by 3.25 µmol/L in the placebo group and decreased by -1.7 µmol/L in the OC3 group (p = 0.13). After 24 weeks, eGFR had declined to a greater degree in the placebo than in the OC3 group: -8.00 ± 2.16 versus -2.71 ± 2.50; p = 0.01. OC3 treatment did not reduce urinary oxalate over 24 weeks of treatment compared with placebo in patients with PH. The treatment was well tolerated.

Concepts: Kidney, Nephrology, Statistics, Blood, Renal physiology, Blood urea nitrogen, Placebo, Oxalobacter formigenes


Nephrolithiasis is a common urological disease with high prevalence and recurrence rates. Characterizing gut microbiome profiles of nephrolithiasis patients may provide valuable insights and potential biomarkers for the disease. Therefore, we explored the relation between gut microbiome and nephrolithiasis using 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene sequencing. 13 patients with multiple kidney stones and 13 matched healthy controls were recruited. A decreasing trend in number of observed species in nephrolithiasis patients was detected, although statistical significance was not reached (p = 0.086). The inter-group variability in community structure by beta diversity analysis showed a clear separation between nephrolithiasis patients and healthy controls. Twenty genera differentiated significantly in relative abundance between nephrolithiasis patients and healthy controls (all p < 0.05). Among the 20 genera, Phascolarctobacterium, Parasutterella, Ruminiclostridium_5, Erysipelatoclostridium, Fusicatenibacter and Dorea were correlated with the concentration of the trace elements in blood, including potassium, sodium, calcium and chlorinum. Characteristic microbiome in nephrolithiasis patients was also identified by linear discriminant analysis effect size (LEfSe). These findings may provide novel and non-invasive potential diagnostic biomarkers for nephrolithiasis, and contribute to prevention and treatment of nephrolithiasis from the perspective of maintaining micro-ecological equilibrium in gut.

Concepts: Archaea, RNA, Ribosomal RNA, Ribosome, Statistical significance, 16S ribosomal RNA, 30S, Effect size


Although most kidney stones are found in the calyx, they are usually initiated upstream in the nephron by precipitation there of certain incipient mineral phases. The risk of kidney stone formation can thus be indicated by changes in the degree of saturation of these minerals in the nephron fluid. To this end, relevant concentration profiles in the fluid along the nephron have been calculated by starting with specified urine compositions and imposing constraints from the corresponding, much less variable, blood compositions. A model for supersaturation within ten sections of both long and short nephrons has accordingly been developed based on this ‘reverse engineering’ of the necessary substance concentrations coupled with chemical speciation distributions calculated by our Joint Expert Speciation System (JESS). This allows the likelihood of precipitation to be assessed based on Ostwald’s ‘Rule of Stages’. Differences between normal and stone-former profiles have been used to identify sections in the nephron where conditions seem most likely to induce heterogeneous nucleation.


Specific relationships among reactive oxygen species, activation pathways, and inflammatory mechanisms involved in kidney injury were assessed in a combined model of obesity and hyperoxaluria. Male Wistar rats were divided into four groups: Control, HFD (high fat diet), OX (0.75% ethylene glycol), and HFD + OX (combined model) Changes in basal O2- levels were evaluated by chemiluminescence in renal interlobar arteries and renal cortex. Furthermore, the effect of different inhibitors on NADPH-stimulated O2- generation was assessed in renal cortex. Oxidative stress sources, and local inflammatory mediators, were also determined, in parallel, by RT-PCR, and correlated with measures of renal function, urinary biochemistry, and renal structure. Rats from the HFD group developed overweight without lipid profile alteration. Tubular deposits of crystals were seen in OX and severely enhanced in HFD + OX groups along with a significantly higher impairment of renal function. Basal oxidative stress was increased in renal cortex of OX rats and in renal arteries of HFD rats, while animals from the combined HFD + OX group exhibited the highest levels of oxidative stress in renal cortex, derived from xanthine oxidase and COX-2. NADPH oxidase-dependent O2- generation was elevated in renal cortex of the OX group and markedly enhanced in the HFD + OX rats, and associated to an up-regulation of Nox1 and a down-regulation of Nox4 expression. High levels of oxidative stress in the kidney, of OX and HFD + OX groups were also associated to an inflammatory response mediated by an elevation of TNFα, COX-2, NFκB1 MCP-1, and OPN. Oxidative stress is a key pathogenic factor in renal disease associated to hyperoxaluria and a common link underlying the exacerbated inflammatory response and kidney injury found under conditions of both obesity and hyperoxaluria. Nox1 pathway must be considered as a potential therapeutic target.


The expression of vitamin D receptor (VDR) and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1,25(OH)D] levels exceed the values of controls in some but not all hypercalciuric stone formers (HSF). We aimed to evaluate serum 1,25(OH)D levels, the expression of VDR, CYP27B1, and CYP24A1 hydroxylases in HSF in comparison with normocalciuric stone formers (NSF) and healthy subjects (HS). Blood samples, 24-h urine collections and a 3-day dietary record were obtained from 30 participants from each of the groups. The expression of VDR, CYP27B1, and CYP24A1 was measured by flow cytometry. HSF presented significantly higher urinary volume, sodium, magnesium, oxalate, uric acid, and phosphorus than NSF and HS. Calcium intake was lower in HSF versus NSF and HS (442 ± 41 vs 594 ± 42 and 559 ± 41 mg/day, respectively, p = 0.027). Ionized calcium was significantly lower in HSF than NSF (1.29 ± 0.0 vs 1.31 ± 0.0 mmol/L, p < 0.01). Serum 1,25(OH)D was significantly higher in HSF and NSF than HS (22.5 ± 1.2; 22.2 ± 1.2 vs 17.4 ± 1.2 pg/ml, p = 0.007) but serum 25(OH)D, PTH, klotho and plasma FGF-23 did not differ between groups. VDR expression was higher in HSF and NSF than HS (80.8 ± 3.2; 78.7 ± 3.3 vs 68.6 ± 3.2%, p = 0.023). Although CYP27B1 and CYP24A1 expressions were similar among all groups, the ratio of 1,25(OH)D/CYP24A1 was higher in HSF and NSF than in HS (1.43 ± 0.25 and 0.56 ± 0.10 vs 0.34 ± 0.06, p = 0.00). Stone formers, regardless of urinary calcium excretion, had higher VDR expression and 1,25(OH)D levels than HS, even in ranges considered normal. Higher 1,25(OH)D/CYP24A1 ratio suggested a lower degradation of 1,25(OH)D by CYP24A1 in HSF and NSF.


In this study, a prototype artificial neural network model (ANN) was used to estimate the stone passage rate and to determine the effectivity of predictive factors on this rate in patients with ureteral stones. The retrospective study included a total of 192 patients with ureteral stones, comprising 128 (66.7%) men and 64 (33.3%) women. Patients were divided into two groups. Group 1 (n: 125) consisted of people who spontaneously passed their stones, Group 2 (n: 67) consisted of people who could not pass stones spontaneously. The groups were compared with regard to the relationship between input data and stone passage rate by using both ANN and standard statistical tests. To implement the ANN, the patients were randomly divided into three groups: (a) training group (n = 132), (b) validation group (n = 30), and © test group (n = 30). The accuracy rate of ANN in the estimation of the stone passage ratio was 99.1% in the group a, 89.9% in the group b, and 87.3% in the group c. It was revealed that certain criteria (stone size, body weight, pain score, ESR, and CRP) were relatively more significant for saving treatment cost and time and for avoiding unnecessary treatment. ANN can be highly useful for the avoidance of unnecessary interventions in patients with ureteral stones as it showed remarkably high performance in the estimation of stone passage rate (99.16%).


Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (SWL) is less invasive compared to the other invasive modalities of stone treatment that are gaining popularity. Hence, methods to improve the efficacy of SWL are desirable. We studied the effectiveness of dual frequency on the efficacy of stone fragmentation, but minimizing treatment time. A phantom 10 mm spherical BegoStone was fragmented in vitro in a kidney model using an electromagnetic lithotripter (Storz MODULITH®SLX-F2). A total of 78 stones were fragmented each with 3000 shocks at 60 Hz or 120 Hz or a dual frequency (DF) of 60-120 Hz. For the DF setting, the first 1000 shocks were delivered at 60 Hz and the next 2000 at 120 Hz. Total weight and number of significant fragments of > 3 mm (TWSF and TNSF, respectively) and also > 2 mm was measured. Results: The mean TWSF was 0.1, 0.16, and 0.08 g for 60 Hz, 120 Hz, and DF 60-120 Hz, respectively. The TWSF of DF 60-120 Hz was significantly lower than that of 120 Hz (p = 0.02), but same as the 60 Hz (p = 0.32). The mean TNSF of > 3 mm was 2.6, 3.0, and 2.0 for 60 Hz, 120 Hz, and DF 60-120 Hz, respectively, without significant differences between each setting. However, increasing trend of TWSF, TW2 mm and TN2 mm was seen in the order of DF, 60 Hz and 120 Hz (p = 0.019, p = 0.004 and 0.017, respectively). Treatment time for 60 Hz, 120 Hz, and DF 60-120 Hz was 50, 25, and 34 min, respectively. Dual-frequency setting produced effective stone fragmentation compared to the recommended 60 Hz, while decreasing treatment time. DF variation is one other factor that may be tailored for effective stone comminution and needs clinical evaluation.