Staghorn Kidney Stones (Staghorn Calculi)
Staghorn kidney stones, also known as staghorn calculi, are commonly associated with struvite kidney stones.
What staghorn really means is that the stone that is formed occupies
parts of the kidney called the "renal pelvis" and two or more "calyces"
and form an "antler-like" stone formation. Seventy-five percent of
staghorn stones are of the struvite variety.
Struvite mineral stones (Magnesium Ammonium Phosphate) are formed
due to a bacterial infection that causes urea to form ammonium thereby
increasing the pH of the urine to an alkaline.
When this happens the bacteria fighting acids in the urine are
neutralized and conditions are ripe for the formation of struvite
American Urological Association on Staghorn Kidney Stones:
"Staghorn calculi are most frequently composed of mixtures of
magnesium ammonium phosphate (struvite) and/or calcium carbonate
apatite. Stones composed of cystine or uric acid, either in pure form or
mixed with other components, can also grow in a "staghorn" or branched
configuration, but calcium oxalate or phosphate stones only rarely grow
in this configuration. Struvite/calcium carbonate apatite stones also
are referred to as "infection stones" because of their strong
association with urinary tract infection caused by specific organisms
that produce the enzyme urease that promotes the generation of ammonia
and hydroxide from urea (Bruce & Griffith, 1981) 2. The resultant
alkaline urinary environment and high ammonia concentration, along with
abundant phosphate and magnesium in urine, promote crystallization of
magnesium ammonium phosphate (struvite), leading to formation of large,
branched stones. Other factors play a role, including the formation of
an exopolysaccharide biofilm and the incorporation of mucoproteins and
other organic compounds into this matrix. Cultures of "infection stone"
fragments obtained from both the surface and inside of the stone have
demonstrated that bacteria reside within the stone thereby causing the
stone itself to be infected in contrast to stones made of other
substances where the stones remain sterile inside 3. Repeated urinary
tract infections with urea-splitting organisms may result in stone
formation, and once an "infection stone" is present, infections tend to
Read the rest here:
AUA Guideline on the Management of Staghorn Calculi: Diagnosis and Treatment Recommendations
I would really like to have more feedback regarding staghorn and
struvite kidney stones. If you or someone you know has had either
variety please share your story and your pictures!
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