Reduced glomerular filtration rate and hypercalciuria in primary struvite nephrolithiasis

Kidney Int. 1987 Nov;32(5):749-53. doi: 10.1038/ki.1987.270.


Struvite nephrolithiasis is caused by infection with bacteria that possess the enzyme urease, and convert urea to ammonia that raises urine pH and crystallizes with magnesium and trivalent phosphate ion. Of the 75 of our 1431 stone patients with struvite stones 52 were women. Struvite stones occurred almost exclusively in women; a minority of women and most men had mixed stones of struvite and calcium oxalate. Increased serum creatinine levels and reduced creatinine clearance were common in patients with struvite stones, not in those with mixed stones; both were rare in calcium stone disease. Men and women with mixed struvite, calcium oxalate stones were hypercalciuric, but women with struvite stones were not. Patients with mixed stones usually had initial symptoms of stone passage, and were less likely to need surgery, including nephrectomy, or to form contralateral stones. Patients with struvite stones usually presented with infection or no symptom, not passage. We conclude that struvite stones occur in two forms. The struvite stone is a disease of women, presumably occurring de novo from infection. The mixed stones occur in both sexes, presumably from secondary infection in hypercalciuric patients who begin with calcium-oxalate stone disease.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Blood Pressure
  • Calcium / urine*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Calculi / surgery
  • Kidney Calculi / urine*
  • Magnesium / urine*
  • Magnesium Compounds*
  • Male
  • Nephrectomy
  • Phosphates / urine*
  • Risk Factors
  • Struvite


  • Magnesium Compounds
  • Phosphates
  • Struvite
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium