Pathophysiology and Management of Hyperoxaluria and Oxalate Nephropathy: A Review

Am J Kidney Dis. 2022 May;79(5):717-727. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2021.07.018. Epub 2021 Sep 9.


Hyperoxaluria results from either inherited disorders of glyoxylate metabolism leading to hepatic oxalate overproduction (primary hyperoxaluria), or increased intestinal oxalate absorption (secondary hyperoxaluria). Hyperoxaluria may lead to urinary supersaturation of calcium oxalate and crystal formation, causing urolithiasis and deposition of calcium oxalate crystals in the kidney parenchyma, a condition termed oxalate nephropathy. Considerable progress has been made in the understanding of pathophysiological mechanisms leading to hyperoxaluria and oxalate nephropathy, whose diagnosis is frequently delayed and prognosis too often poor. Fortunately, novel promising targeted therapeutic approaches are on the horizon in patients with primary hyperoxaluria. Patients with secondary hyperoxaluria frequently have long-standing hyperoxaluria-enabling conditions, a fact suggesting the role of triggers of acute kidney injury such as dehydration. Current standard of care in these patients includes management of the underlying cause, high fluid intake, and use of calcium supplements. Overall, prompt recognition of hyperoxaluria and associated oxalate nephropathy is crucial because optimal management may improve outcomes.

Keywords: Calcium oxalate crystals; chronic kidney disease (CKD); crystallopathies; fat malabsorption; kidney failure; lumasiran; nephrolithiasis; oxalate; oxalate nephropathy; oxalosis; primary hyperoxaluria; review; secondary hyperoxaluria; steatorrhea; urolithiasis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury* / complications
  • Calcium Oxalate
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperoxaluria* / complications
  • Hyperoxaluria* / therapy
  • Hyperoxaluria, Primary* / complications
  • Hyperoxaluria, Primary* / diagnosis
  • Hyperoxaluria, Primary* / therapy
  • Male
  • Oxalates


  • Oxalates
  • Calcium Oxalate