Discrepancy between Stone and Tissue Mineral Type in Patients with Idiopathic Uric Acid Stones

Andrew P. Evan, Fredric L. Coe, Elaine M. Worcester, James C. Williams, Joshua Heiman, Sharon Bledsoe, Andre Sommer, Carrie L. Philips, James E. Lingeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objectives: To describe the papillary pathology found in uric acid (UA) stone formers, and to investigate the mineral form of tissue deposits. Materials and Methods: We studied eight UA stone formers treated with percutaneous nephrolithotomy. Papillae were imaged intraoperatively using digital endoscopy, and cortical and papillary biopsies were taken. Biopsies were analyzed by light microscopy, micro-CT, and microinfrared spectroscopy. Results: As expected, urine pH was generally low. UA supersaturation exceeded one in all but one case, compatible with the stone material. By intraoperative imaging, the renal papillae displayed a heterogeneous mixture of plaque and plugging, ranging from normal to severe. All patients had mineral in ducts of Bellini and inner medullary collecting ducts, mainly apatite with lesser amounts of urate and/or calcium oxalate in some specimens. Papillary and cortical interstitial tissue injury was modest despite the tubule plugging. No instance was found of a stone growing attached to either plaque or plugs. Conclusions: UA stone formers resemble those with ileostomy in having rather low urine pH while forming tubule plugs that contain crystals that can only form at pH values above those of their bulk urine. This discrepancy between tissue mineral deposits and stone type suggests that local tubular pH exceeds that of the bulk urine, perhaps because of localized tubule injury. The manner in which UA stones form and the discordance between tubule crystals and stone type remain open research questions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385-393
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Endourology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2020


  • Randall's plaque
  • nephrolithiasis
  • papilla
  • uric acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Discrepancy between Stone and Tissue Mineral Type in Patients with Idiopathic Uric Acid Stones'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this