Management of primary hyperoxaluria: efficacy of oral citrate administration

Pediatr Nephrol. 1993 Apr;7(2):207-11. doi: 10.1007/BF00864405.


The prognosis of primary hyperoxaluria (PH) is not only related to endogenous oxalate production and the response (if any) to pyridoxine (in type I), but is greatly influenced by extrarenal factors like dehydration. The earlier the diagnosis of PH, the better the chances of improving the prognosis in individual patients. Measures to enhance the solubility of calcium oxalate are important. Besides ensuring at all times a generous fluid intake (> 2 l/m2), administration of alkali citrate (0.15 g/kg), which has not been advocated so far in PH, appears very promising. We studied the effect of sodium citrate in six patients with PH. Mean urinary citrate excretion (mmol/day per 1.73 m2) without oral citrate was very low (0.57) and rose to 2.49 with citrate administration. This was accompanied by a significant decrease in the calcium oxalate saturation (calculated by equil 2) from 11.7 to 6.9 (P < 0.05). Treatment in five patients over 10-36 months resulted in improved (1) or stabilized (4) renal function and reduced passage of stones. Additional measures include restriction of salt and of oxalate-rich food. We conclude that long-term administration of alkali citrate is beneficial in patients with PH.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adolescent
  • Calcium Oxalate / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Calcium Oxalate / urine
  • Child
  • Citrates / administration & dosage
  • Citrates / therapeutic use*
  • Citrates / urine
  • Citric Acid
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperoxaluria, Primary / drug therapy*
  • Hyperoxaluria, Primary / urine
  • Infant
  • Intestinal Absorption / drug effects
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy
  • Male
  • Urinary Calculi / therapy


  • Citrates
  • Calcium Oxalate
  • Citric Acid