Measurement of Metastability, Growth and Aggregation of Calcium Oxalate in Native Urine
Baumann J.M. · Affolter B. · Brenneisen J. · Siegrist H.-P.
A New Approach for Clinical and Experimental Stone Research
Division of Urology, Regional Hospital and Medical Chemical Laboratory Siegrist, Biel, Switzerland
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Article / Publication Details
Nucleation, growth and aggregation are thought to be the most important crystallization processes in stone formation. Since crystallization properties change with urinary dilution, centrifugation and filtration, crystallization should always be studied in freshly voided and not pretreated urine. Recently we developed an automated method where calcium oxalate crystallization is induced in native urine by an exogenous oxalate load and nucleation and growth are monitored by an ion-selective calcium electrode. The method has now been supplemented with the spectrophotometric measurement of crystal aggregation. Repeated experiments in the same urine with different oxalate loads enable the determination of the critical oxalate additionable to induce crystallization (metastable limit) and the calculation of an oxalate load-independent growth rate constant. Preliminary results obtained in the native urine of healthy controls showed an extremely high limit of metastability and a complete absence of crystal aggregation. These findings may explain why, despite frequent urinary calcium oxalate supersaturation, healthy people do not form stones.
© 1997 S. Karger AG, Basel
Article / Publication Details
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