Urinary stone disease is a very common disease whose prevalence is still increasing. Stone formation is frequently associated with other diseases of affluence such as hypertension, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, and insulin resistance. The increasing concentration of lithogenic solutes along the different segments of the nephron involves supersaturation conditions leading to the formation, growth, and aggregation of crystals. Crystalline aggregates can grow free in the tubular lumen or coated on the wall of the renal tubule. Plugs of crystalline material have been highlighted in the tubular lumen in some patients, but crystalline growth starting from plaques of calcium phosphate within the renal papillae has been demonstrated in others. Urinary supersaturation is the result of a complex interaction between predisposing genetic features and environmental factors. Dietary intake is certainly the most important environmental risk factor. In particular, an insufficient intake of dietary calcium (<600 mg/day) can increase the intestinal absorption of oxalate and the risk of calcium oxalate stone formation. Other possible risk factors that have been identified include excessive intake of salt and proteins. The potential role of dietary acid load seems to play an important role in causing a state of subclinical chronic acidosis; therefore, the intake of vegetables is encouraged in stone-forming patients. Consumption of sugar-sweetened soda and punch is associated with a higher risk of stone formation, whereas consumption of coffee, tea, beer, wine, and orange juice is associated with a lower risk. A high fluid intake is widely recognized as the cornerstone of prevention of all forms of stones. The effectiveness of protein and salt restriction has been evaluated in some studies that still do not allow definitive conclusions to be made. Calcium stone formation can be prevented by the use of different drugs with different mechanisms of action (thiazide diuretics, allopurinol, and potassium citrate), but there is no ideal drug that is both risk free and well tolerated.
- Urinary stone disease
- renal stone