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Uric acid stones, clinical manifestations and therapeutic considerations


Uric acid stones account for 10%–15% of all urinary stones. Changes in dietary habits, environment or both can result in the increase of uric acid stones. The formation of uric acid stones is related to hyperuricosuria, low urinary volume and persistently low urinary pH. Diabetes and obesity also significantly increase the risk of stone formation. Dual-energy CT provides a convenient and reliable method for diagnosis. Stone composition analysis and 24-hour urine metabolic evaluations should be considered for further evaluation. Most small uric acid stones (diameter <2 cm) can be treated by pharmacotherapy or extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy. However, ureteroscopy and other minimally invasive procedures should be reserved for larger stones (diameter ≥2 cm), or patients with concomitant urinary tract obstruction and/or infections. Additionally, adjustment of potential pathophysiologic defects by pharmacotherapy and dietary modification is strongly recommended for the prevention of uric stone recurrence.

  • uric acid stones
  • metabolism
  • physiopathology
  • diagnosis
  • therapy

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