Renal calculi: pathogenesis, diagnosis, and medical therapy

Semin Nephrol. 1992 Mar;12(2):200-16.


Selective medical therapy of nephrolithiasis is highly effective in preventing new stone formation. A remission rate of greater than 80% and an overall reduction in individual stone formation rate of greater than 90% can be obtained in patients with nephrolithiasis. In patients with mild to moderate severity of stone disease, virtually total control of stone disease can be achieved with a remission rate of greater than 95%. The need for stone removal may be dramatically reduced by an effective prophylactic program (Fig 6). Selective pharmacological therapy of nephrolithiasis also encompasses the advantages of overcoming nonrenal complications as well as averting certain side effects that may be caused by nonselective medical therapy. Despite these advantages, it is clear that selective medical therapy cannot provide total control of stone disease. A satisfactory response requires continued, dedicated compliance by patients to the recommended program and a commitment by the physician to provide long-term follow-up and care.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Calcium / urine
  • Citrates / urine
  • Citric Acid
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Diuretics / therapeutic use
  • Gout / complications
  • Humans
  • Kidney Calculi / diagnosis
  • Kidney Calculi / etiology*
  • Kidney Calculi / physiopathology
  • Kidney Calculi / therapy
  • Magnesium / urine
  • Magnesium Compounds*
  • Oxalates / urine
  • Oxalic Acid
  • Parathyroidectomy
  • Phosphates / urine
  • Struvite
  • Uric Acid / urine


  • Citrates
  • Diuretics
  • Magnesium Compounds
  • Oxalates
  • Phosphates
  • Uric Acid
  • Citric Acid
  • Oxalic Acid
  • Struvite
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium