The term infection stones refers to calculi that occur following urinary tract infections (UTIs) caused by urease-producing gram-negative organisms. They consist of magnesium ammonium phosphate, carbonate apatite and monoammonium urate. Alkaline urine is most favorable to their formation. Urinary tract obstruction, neurogenic bladder, voiding dysfunction, temporary or indwelling urinary catheters, distal renal tubular acidosis and medullary sponge kidney are considered the main risk factors for developing infection stones. Urinalysis and urine culture are essential for diagnosis. A typical finding on imaging is a moderately radiopaque, staghorn or branched stone. Curative treatment is possible only by eliminating all of the stone fragments and by eradicating UTI. A variety of operative and pharmaceutical approaches is available. Metaphylactic treatment is mandatory to prevent recurrences. The relationship between urinary stones and UTIs is well known and shows two different clinical pictures: (1) stones that develop following UTIs (infection stones) which play a key role in stone pathogenesis, and (2) stones complicated by UTIs (stones with infection) which are metabolic stones that passively trap bacteria from coexistent UTIs and may consist of calcium or non-calcium. This article presents an overview of infection stones, analyzing the epidemiology, composition, pathogenesis, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of this type of calculi.
Copyright 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel.