Using the ambulatory protocol previously described, 241 patients with nephrolithiasis were evaluated. They could be categorized into 10 groups from the results obtained. Absorptive hypercalciuria type I (87 per cent male) comprised 24.5 per cent and was characterized by normocalcemia, normal fasting urinary calcium (less than 0.11 mg/100 ml glomerular filtration), an exaggerated urinary calcium following an oral calcium load (greater than 0.20 mg/mg creatinine), normal urinary cyclic adenosine monophosphate (AMP) (less than 5.4 nmol/100 ml glomerular filtration) and serum parathyroid hormone (PTH), and hypercalciuria (greater than 200 mg/day during a calcium- and sodium-restricted diet). Absorptive hypercalciuria type II (50 per cent male) accounted for 29.8 per cent; its biochemical features were the same as those for absorptive hypercalciuria type I, except for normocalciuria during a restricted diet and low urine volume (1.42 +/- 0.55 SD liter/day). Renal hypercalciuria (56 per cent male), disclosed in 8.3 per cent, was represented by normocalcemia and high values for fasting urinary calcium (0.160 +/- 0.054 mg/100 ml glomerular filtration), urinary cyclic AMP (6.80 +/- 2.10 nmol/100 ml glomerular filtration) and serum PTH. Primary hyperparathyroidism (57 per cent female), accounted for 5.8 per cent, typically included hypercalcemia, hypophosphatemia, hypercalciuria and high urinary cyclic AMP. Hyperuricosuric calcium urolithiasis (100 per cent male) comprised 8.7 per cent, and was characterized by hyperuricosuria (776 +/- 164 mg/day) and urinary pH exceeding pK for uric acid (5.91 +/- 0.33). In enteric hyperoxaluria (60 per cent female), encountered in 2.1 per cent of cases, urinary oxalate was increased (6.29 +/- 13.2 mg/day). Noncalcium-containing stones were found in 2.1 per cent of the patients with uric acid lithiasis (100 per cent male) and in another 2.1 per cent of the patients with infection lithiasis (60 per cent female). These conditions were typified by low urinary pH (5.29 +/- 0.12) and high urinary pH (6.69 +/- 1.16), respectively. Renal tubular acidosis was found in one patient (male, 0.4 per cent). In 10.8 per cent of the patients (81 per cent male), no metabolic abnormality could be found, although urine volume was low (1.41 +/- 0.51 liter/day). Hypercalciuria could not be differentiated between absorptive hypercalciuria and renal hypercalciuria in 5.4 per cent of the patients. Thus, this ambulatory protocol disclosed a physiologic disturbance in nearly 90 per cent of the cases and provided a definitive diagnosis in 95 per cent of the patients.