Mechanism of formation of human calcium oxalate renal stones on Randall's plaque

Andrew P. Evan, Fredric L. Coe, James E. Lingeman, Youzhi Shao, Andre J. Sommer, Sharon B. Bledsoe, Jennifer C. Anderson, Elaine M. Worcester

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

141 Scopus citations


Although calcium oxalate (CaOx) renal stones are known to grow attached to renal papillae, and specifically to regions of papillae that contain Randall's plaque (interstitial apatite deposits), the mechanisms of stone overgrowth on plaque are not known. To investigate the problem, we have obtained biopsy specimens from two stone patients that included an attached stone along with its tissue base and have studied the ultrastructural features of the attachment point using light and transmission electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (μ-FTIR), and immunohistochemical analysis. The epithelium is disrupted at the attachment site. The denuded plaque that borders on the urinary space attracts an envelope of ribbon-like laminates of crystal and organic matrix arising from urine ions and molecules. Into the matrix of this ribbon grow amorphous apatite crystals that merge with and give way to the usual small apatite crystals imbedded in stone matrix; eventually CaOx crystals admix with apatite and become the predominant solid phase. Over time, urine calcium and oxalate ions gradually overgrow on the large crystals forming the attached stone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1315-1323
Number of pages9
JournalAnatomical Record
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2007


  • Histopathology
  • Kidney biopsy
  • Randall's plaque

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biotechnology

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    Evan, A. P., Coe, F. L., Lingeman, J. E., Shao, Y., Sommer, A. J., Bledsoe, S. B., Anderson, J. C., & Worcester, E. M. (2007). Mechanism of formation of human calcium oxalate renal stones on Randall's plaque. Anatomical Record, 290(10), 1315-1323.