Urinary glycosaminoglycans are thought to be macromolecular inhibitors of calcium stone formation. The 24-hour excretion of urinary glycosaminoglycans was measured quantitatively in 24 normal subjects and 206 patients with different etiologies of stone disease. In both groups a positive correlation was found between urinary glycosaminoglycans and total urinary volume and urinary sulfate. In normal subjects total urinary volume was r equals 0.716, p less than 0.001 and urinary sulfate was r equals 0.813, p less than 0.001, while in patients with stones these values were r equals 0.338, p less than 0.001 and r equals 0.326, p less than 0.001, respectively. The only significant difference in excretion of urinary glycosaminoglycans between the groups was found in the subgroup of patients with type I absorptive hypercalciuria. The type I absorptive hypercalciuria value of 33.4 ± 14.9 mg per day in patients with stones was significantly higher than the 25.8 ± 8.3 mg per day detected in normal subjects (p less than 0.05). Urinary glycosaminoglycan excretion in all other subgroups of nephrolithiasis as well as in a combined group of all patients with stones showed no significant differnce when compared to that of normal subjeccts. Thus, no major quantitative relationship could be demonstrated between urinary glycosaminoglycan excretion and calcium stone formation in this study.
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