We evaluated, in 128 patients with recurrent nephrolithiasis, the efficacy of special treatment programs for some of the common causes of nephrolithiasis, chosen on the basis of their ability to correct underlying physicochemical and physiologic derangements. Therapy included sodium cellulose phosphate for 18 patients with absorptive hypercalciuria, thiazide diuretics for 27 patients with absorptive hypercalciuria and for 10 with renal hypercalciuria, orthophosphate for eight patients with hypophosphatemic absorptive hypercalciuria, allopurinol for 21 patients with hyperuricosuric calcium oxalate nephrolithiasis, thiazide and allopurinol for 26 patients with absorptive hypercalciuria with hyperuricosuria, and high fluid intake and/or low calcium diet for 22 patients with normocalciuric nephrolithiasis. Patients in all seven groups had a significant reduction in stone formation during 1.70 to 3.37 years of treatment, as compared with the pretreatment period of three years. Remission was found in 70 to 91 percent of patients and reduced stone formation rate was encountered in 88 to 100 percent. Each treatment program produced a significant decline in stone formation rate from 1.90 to 2.28 stones per year to 0.09 to 0.55 stones per year. The actual number of stones formed during treatment was significantly lower than the number predicted from the pretreatment frequency of stone formation (less than 26 percent). The results provide evidence supporting a selective approach to therapy of nephrolithiasis.
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