Prevention of spinal bone loss by potassium citrate in cases of calcium urolithiasis

J Urol. 2002 Jul;168(1):31-4.


Purpose: We determine if potassium citrate treatment stabilizes spinal bone density among patients with recurrent calcium oxalate nephrolithiasis.

Materials and methods: We studied a group of 16 men and 5 women with stones taking potassium citrate from 11 to 120 months. They represented all patients from the Stone Clinic who took potassium citrate alone for at least 11 months. L2-L4 bone mineral density data before and after potassium citrate treatment were retrieved retrospectively and analyzed.

Results: In the combined group L2-L4 bone mineral density increased significantly by 3.1% over mean duration of 44 months. Z score, corrected for age matched normal values, increased significantly by 3.8%. Urinary pH, citrate and potassium increased significantly during treatment but urinary calcium did not change.

Conclusions: Potassium citrate, a commonly used drug for the prevention of recurrent nephrolithiasis, may avert age dependent bone loss. Spinal bone density increased in most patients when it normally decreases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bone Density / drug effects*
  • Bone Diseases, Metabolic / prevention & control*
  • Bone Diseases, Metabolic / urine
  • Calcium Oxalate / urine*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Kidney Calculi / drug therapy*
  • Kidney Calculi / urine
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / drug effects
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoporosis / prevention & control*
  • Osteoporosis / urine
  • Potassium Citrate / therapeutic use*
  • Recurrence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Spinal Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Spinal Diseases / urine
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Calcium Oxalate
  • Potassium Citrate