Do kidney stone formers have a kidney disease?

Anna L. Zisman, Andrew P. Evan, Fredric L. Coe, Elaine M. Worcester

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Nephrolithiasis is a highly prevalent disorder affecting approximately one in eleven people and is associated with multiple complications including hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and chronic kidney disease. Significant epidemiologic associations with chronic kidney disease and ESRD have been noted and are reviewed herein, but debate persists in the literature as to whether kidney stone formation is a pathogenic process contributing to kidney disease. Corroborating evidence supporting the presence of kidney disease in stone formers includes the variability of renal function by stone type, the positive association of stone size with renal dysfunction, the presence of markers of renal injury in the urine of even asymptomatic stone formers, and direct evidence of renal tissue injury on histopathology. Proposed pathogenic mechanisms include recurrent obstruction and comorbid conditions such as recurrent urinary tract infections and structural abnormalities. Recent work evaluating the renal histopathology of different groups of stone formers adds further granularity, suggesting variability in mechanisms of renal injury by stone type and confirming the pathogenic effects of crystal formation. Genetic abnormalities leading to stone formation including cystinuria and primary hyperoxaluria, among others, contribute to the burden of disease in the stone-forming population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1240-1249
Number of pages10
JournalKidney international
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015


  • Chronic kidney disease (CKD)
  • Histopathology
  • Kidney stone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology

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