Struvite Kidney Stones

Struvite kidney stones are sometimes called triple phosphate stones because of their combination of magnesium, ammonium and calcium/phosphate. They are found predominantly in women with chronic urinary infections and people suffering from abnormal urinary tracts. They are most often associated with infections of the urinary tract.

Unlike other crystalline stones, struvite stones are more amorphous and spread out into the insides of the kidneys which gives them their antler-like appearance.

Struvite storms can also form around calcium oxalate stones when the stone becomes infected. This is a potentially dangerous situation that can cause the stone to grow so big that it blocks the entire kidney.

Struvite stones are also found in dogs and house cats that are infected with ammonia producing organisms. Cats may show signs of struvite stones by having difficulty in urinating and/or blood in the urine. These indications may be mistaken for constipation. The stones accumulate in the bladder and require surgery for removal. Seek a Veterinarian for treatment.

Urine reveals very high alkaline level; pH>8.

Pyonephrosis or kidney infection or obstruction and infection of the bloodstream are potential complications. They can be very dangerous. If you have an accompanying fever with nephrolithiasis , consult your doctor. Fever may indicate an infection.

The infection causes the release of a bacteria called Proteus, the foundation of struvite stones and take on the shape of the internal calyces in the kidney and form branches or "antler" like shapes called staghorn calculi.

These "staghorn" variety can also layer themselves over the top of other stones like calcium oxalate stones and are formed when the stone encompasses two or more calyces, giving it an antler-like appearance. A physician will look at various factors when treating struvite kidney stones:

Diet

Cause of Infection

Antibiotics

Lifestyle

Kidney Stones In Children

Children who form stones are most likely to develop stones of the struvite variety due to hereditary conditions that cause infections.

Treatment will most likely involve removing all stones, either percutaneously or with lithotripsy. The infected stones must all be removed. Inhibiting the enzyme that accelerates the formation of struvite stones will also be required.

Antibiotics, dietary modifications, reduction of dietary phosphate and aluminium hydroxide may also be prescribed.

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