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Intestinal calcium absorption may ID individuals at risk of developing kidney stones

June 09, 2016

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  • Absorption and excretion of calcium were faster in certain patients with a history of kidney stones.

Washington, DC (June 9, 2016) -- Measuring intestinal calcium absorption may help to identify individuals who are prone to develop kidney stones, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN).

Individuals with hypercalciuria have kidneys that put out higher levels of calcium in urine than normal, which increases their risk of developing kidney stones. Only a portion of hypercalciuric individuals will develop stones, however, and there are no criteria to distinguish them from those who remain free of stones.

To look for such distinguishing factors, Giuseppe Vezzoli, MD (San Raffaele Scientific Institute, in Milan, Italy) and his colleagues evaluated absorption of calcium in the first part of the small intestine as well as urinary excretion of calcium in 172 hypercalciuric stone formers and 36 hypercalciuric patients without a history of kidney stones.

The researchers found that both absorption and excretion of calcium were faster in hypercalciuric stone formers than in hypercalciuric patients without a history of stones.

"To our knowledge this is the first study comparing calcium metabolism in hypercalciuric patients with or without calcium stones," said Dr. Vezzoli. "Its findings identify a characteristic of calcium metabolism that may predispose hypercalciuric patients to calcium stone formation, and highlight the role of intestinal absorption in stone formation."
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Study co-authors include Lorenza Macrina, MD, Alessandro Rubinacci, MD, Donatella Spotti, MD, and Teresa Arcidiacono, MD.

Disclosures: The study was supported by grants from the Italian Ministry of University and Scientific Research and from the San Raffaele Scientific Institute.

The article, entitled "Intestinal calcium absorption among hypercalciuric patients with or without calcium kidney stones will appear online at http://cjasn.asnjournals.org/ on June 9, 2016, doi:10.2215/CJN.10360915.

The content of this article does not reflect the views or opinions of The American Society of Nephrology (ASN). Responsibility for the information and views expressed therein lies entirely with the author(s). ASN does not offer medical advice. All content in ASN publications is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions, or adverse effects. This content should not be used during a medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Please consult your doctor or other qualified health care provider if you have any questions about a medical condition, or before taking any drug, changing your diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment. Do not ignore or delay obtaining professional medical advice because of information accessed through ASN. Call 911 or your doctor for all medical emergencies.

Founded in 1966, and with nearly 16,000 members, the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) leads the fight against kidney disease by educating health professionals, sharing new knowledge, advancing research, and advocating the highest quality care for patients.

American Society of Nephrology

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