Renal calcification in the first year of life

Pediatr Clin North Am. 1995 Dec;42(6):1397-413. doi: 10.1016/s0031-3955(16)40090-8.


The introduction of renal ultrasound technology has shown renal calcification to be more common in infancy than was previously believed. Understanding the role of inhibitors and promoters in crystal formation helps elucidate the pathophysiology of nephrocalcinosis. Identification of the presence or absence of hypercalcemia and hypercalciuria is an effective way to direct the diagnostic work-up of infants with nephrocalcinosis. The sonographic image of renal calcification resolves spontaneously in many infants. Whether microscopic nephrocalcinosis persists below the threshold of ultrasonographic detection is unknown. Renal calcification can be associated with persistent renal function abnormalities if hypercalciuria continues, such as in VLBW infants who receive long-term furosemide therapy after discharge from the hospital. Renal calcification may also progress to renal failure, such as in infants with primary hyperoxaluria, owing to the persistence of hyperoxaluria, a potent promoter of calcium crystal formation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Calcinosis / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Kidney Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Kidney Diseases / pathology
  • Nephrocalcinosis / diagnosis