Intestinal oxalate absorption is higher in idiopathic calcium oxalate stone formers than in healthy controls: measurements with the [(13)C2]oxalate absorption test

J Urol. 2006 May;175(5):1711-5. doi: 10.1016/S0022-5347(05)01001-3.


Purpose: We assessed the importance of oxalate hyperabsorption for idiopathic calcium oxalate urolithiasis, oxalate absorption in healthy volunteers and recurrent calcium oxalate stone formers was compared.

Materials and methods: The [(13)C2]oxalate absorption test, a standardized, radioactivity-free test, was performed. On 2 days 24-hour urine was collected and an identical standard diet containing 800 mg Ca daily was maintained. On the morning of day 2 a capsule containing 0.37 mmol sodium [(13)C2]oxalate was ingested. A total of 120 healthy volunteers (60 women and 60 men) and 120 patients (30 women and 90 men) with idiopathic CaOx urolithiasis (60% or greater CaOx) were tested.

Results: Mean intestinal oxalate absorption in the volunteers was 8.0 +/- 4.4%, and in the patients was 10.2 +/- 5.2% (p <0.001). There was no significant difference in mean absorption values between men and women within both groups. A high overlap between the absorption values of volunteers and patients was found. Only in the patient group did absorption values greater than 20% occur. Oxalate absorption correlated with oxalate excretion in the patients, r = 0.529 (p <0.01) and in the volunteers, r = 0.307 (p <0.01).

Conclusions: In high oxalate absorbers dietary oxalate has a significant role in oxalate excretion and, therefore, increases the risk of calcium oxalate stone formation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Calcium Oxalate / analysis*
  • Carbon Isotopes
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Absorption*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxalates / metabolism*
  • Urinary Calculi / chemistry*
  • Urinary Calculi / metabolism*


  • Carbon Isotopes
  • Oxalates
  • Calcium Oxalate