Purpose: Brushite crystallization might be important in stone formation and prevention. To explore this question new methods for the saturation and crystal growth of brushite were devised that are applicable to whole urine without any computer program. Materials and Methods: The saturation value (concentration-to-product ratio) was determined by dividing the molar concentration product of Ca ([Ca]) and phosphate ([P]), that is [Ca] × [P], of original urine by the steady state solubility obtained after incubating with an excess of brushite (10 mg/ml) for 5 hours. Crystal growth was measured from the depletion of filtrate ([Ca] × [P]) 3 hours after seeding with brushite (0.25 mg/ml). To test the effect of pH, Ca and citrate the saturation value and crystal growth were determined in 24-hour urine samples from 4 normal volunteers and 2 stone formers, and modified artificially to produce 4 ranges of pH, Ca and citrate by adding acid, base, Ca or citrate. Results: The saturation value and crystal growth of brushite increased with an increase in pH or the Ca concentration but they decreased when the citrate concentration increased. The saturation value correlated strongly with crystal growth. Conclusions: The new methods of brushite saturation value and crystal growth should help discern how abnormalities in urinary pH, Ca and citrate interact to influence the formation of Ca stones in cases of distal renal tubular acidosis and alkali therapy.
- kidney calculi
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