Kidney stone disease is one of the main causes of hospitalization in Italy. Its prevalence increased in the last century and is probably still increasing. The pathogenesis of the disease is not known, although two main theories have been elaborated. The first hypothesizes that hydroxyapatite deposition in the interstitium of the renal papillae (Randall's plaque) precedes urinary calcium oxalate precipitation on the ulcered surface of the papilla to form a stone. The second presumes the tubular lumen of Bellini's duct to be the site where calcium-oxalate salts precipitate to form the nucleus for stone formation within the urinary tract. These pathogenetic processes may be favored by different dietary and genetic factors. The genes involved are not known, although many studies have been performed. Polymorphisms of genes coding for the vitamin D receptor, calcium-sensing receptor, interleukin-1 receptor antagonist, and urokinase were found to be associated with kidney stones, but these results have not been replicated. Different nutrients are suspected to predispose patients to calcium kidney stone disease. A high intake of animal proteins, sodium, vitamin C and oxalate has been implicated in stone formation, whereas calcium, alkalis and phytate may have a protective effect. The prevention of calcium stone formation is based on the recognition of risk factors like those already mentioned here. Furthermore, a family history of kidney stones may be useful in identifying subjects predisposed to become calcium stone formers. However, the expectations of the scientific community are turned to the advances in genetics and to the findings of genetic studies, which may provide diagnostic tools and criteria to define the risk profile of the single individual.
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||Giornale italiano di nefrologia : organo ufficiale della Società italiana di nefrologia|
|Publication status||Published - Nov 2007|
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