A randomized double-blind study of acetohydroxamic acid in struvite nephrolithiasis

N Engl J Med. 1984 Sep 20;311(12):760-4. doi: 10.1056/NEJM198409203111203.


We studied the effects of the bacterial urease inhibitor acetohydroxamic acid on the growth of struvite stones in the urinary tract. Eighteen patients who received acetohydroxamic acid (15 mg per kilogram of body weight per day, in divided oral doses) for a mean of 15.8 months were compared in a randomized double-blind study with 19 patients who received placebo for a mean of 19.6 months. Seven patients given placebo reached a pre-determined end point: a 100 per cent increase in the two-dimensional surface area of their stones. No patient who received acetohydroxamic acid had a doubling of stone size (P less than 0.01). Nine patients receiving the drug and one patient receiving placebo required a decrease in dosage or cessation of treatment because of adverse effects (P less than 0.01). Episodes of tremulousness (n = 5, P less than 0.05), which reversed with a decrease in drug dose, and phlebothrombosis (n = 3, P not significant) were limited to the group given acetohydroxamic acid. We conclude that acetohydroxamic acid effectively inhibits the growth of struvite stones in the short term in patients infected with urea-splitting bacteria, but the prevalence of adverse reactions appears to be high and the toxicity and effectiveness of long-term therapy for struvite nephrolithiasis remain to be defined.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Evaluation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydroxamic Acids / adverse effects
  • Hydroxamic Acids / therapeutic use*
  • Kidney Calculi / diagnostic imaging
  • Kidney Calculi / drug therapy*
  • Kidney Calculi / microbiology
  • Magnesium / metabolism*
  • Magnesium Compounds*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phosphates / metabolism*
  • Radiography
  • Random Allocation
  • Struvite
  • Urine / microbiology


  • Hydroxamic Acids
  • Magnesium Compounds
  • Phosphates
  • acetohydroxamic acid
  • Struvite
  • Magnesium