[Influence of urinary citrate levels on spontaneous calcium oxalate dihydrate crystalluria].Prog Urol 2005; 15(4):650-5PU
Calcium oxalate is the leading cause of renal stones and is mainly due to hypercalciuria, hyperoxaluria and/or hypocitraturia. Citrate is considered to be an effective inhibitor of calcium oxalate crystallization and is therefore increasingly prescribed as maintenance therapy for patients with calcium stones, but no study has investigated the effect of urinary citrate levels on spontaneous calcium oxalate crystalluria in human urine. In this study, the authors examined the relationships between the calcium oxalate molar product, the urinary citrate concentration and weddellite (oxalate calcium dihydrate) crystalluria, the most frequent crystalline form of calcium oxalate in human urine.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
Crystalluria analysis and calcium, oxalate and citrate assays were performed on a series of 10,222 first morning urine samples from 4,809 stone patients and 453 first morning urine samples from 317 control subjects. The frequency and characteristics of weddellite crystalluria were determined as a function of the calcium oxalate molar product (pCaOx) and urinary citrate concentration.
1,940 urine samples (18.2%) presented weddellite crystalluria, which was pure in 1,378 urine samples from stone patients (13.5%) and 43 urine samples (9.5%) from controls (p < 0.05). The crystalluria rate in stone patients ranged from 4% for pCaOx < 1 (mmol/l)2 to 81.3% for pCaOx > or = 3 (mmol/l)2 (p < 0.0001). Over the same interval of pCaOx, weddellite crystalluria ranged from 1.5% to 72.2% in control subjects. An increase of urinary citrate excretion from 0.5 to 5 mmol/l significantly lowered the frequency of crystalluria from 32.4% to 10.1% for a pCaOx between 1 and 2 (mmol/l)2 (p < 0.0001) and from 63% to 27.9% for a pCaOx between 2 and 3 (mmol/l)2 (p < 0.001). For pCaOx values > or = 3 (mmol/l)2, urinary citrate excretion no longer significantly influenced the frequency of crystalluria. The number of crystals and aggregates and the maximum dimensions of aggregates were only influenced by the urinary citrate concentration when the pCaOx product was < 2 (mmol/l)2.
The main determinant of the frequency and characteristics of weddellite crystalluria is the pCaOx molar product. The beneficial effect of the urinary citrate concentration on the frequency of crystalluria is observed for pCaOx values < 3 (mmol/l)2, but only for pCaOx values < 2 (mmol/l)2 for the characteristics of crystalluria such as the number and dimensions of crystals and aggregates. This means that therapeutic measures designed to increase urinary citrate concentrations can only be effective when pCaOx has been previously lowered by increased diuresis or specific reduction of urinary calcium and/or urinary oxalate levels.