Epidemiology of paediatric renal stone disease: a 22-year single centre experience in the UK

BMC Nephrol. 2017 Apr 18;18(1):136. doi: 10.1186/s12882-017-0505-x.


Background: Whilst still rare, the incidence of paediatric stone disease is increasing in developed countries and it is important to evaluate the aetiology. We set up a dedicated renal stone service for children combining medical and surgical expertise in 1993 and now have a large case series of children to investigate the epidemiology.

Methods: A retrospective hospital note review of children presenting with kidney stones during the last 22 years (1993-2015) was conducted. All patients had a comprehensive infective and metabolic screen and were classified as metabolic, infective or idiopathic stone disease.

Results: Five hundred eleven patients (322 male) were reviewed. The median age of presentation was 4.4y for males (1 m-16.6y) and 7.3y (1-18.5y) for females with a median height and weight on the 25th centile for male and on 10th and 25th for female, respectively. One hundred seventy five (34%) had an underlying metabolic abnormality, 112 (22%) had infective stones and 224 (44%) were classified as idiopathic. Of the 175 patients with a metabolic abnormality: 91 (52%) had hypercalciuria (76 persistent and 15 transient), 37 (21%) hyperoxaluria, 38 (22%) cystinuria, 3 (2%) abnormalities in the purine metabolism and the remainder other metabolic abnormalities. Bilateral stones occurred in 27% of the metabolic group compared to 16% in the non-metabolic group (OR 0.2, p < 0.05). Urinary tract infection was a common complication (27%) in the metabolic group.

Conclusions: In this paper, we present the largest cohort of paediatric stone disease reported from a developed country giving details on both, clinical and laboratory data. We show that in the majority of the patients there is an identifiable underlying metabolic and/or infective aetiology emphasizing the importance of a full work up to provide adequate treatment and prevent recurrence. Moreover, we show that stone disease in children, in contrast to the adult population, does not seem to be associated with obesity, as children have a weight below average at presentation.

Keywords: Epidemiology; Growth; Hypercalciuria; Nephrolithiasis; Stone disease.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Distribution
  • Causality
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Kidney Calculi / diagnosis*
  • Kidney Calculi / epidemiology*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Metabolic Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Metabolic Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Urinary Tract Infections / diagnosis*
  • Urinary Tract Infections / epidemiology*