The impact of potassium citrate therapy in the natural course of Medullary Sponge Kidney with associated nephrolithiasis

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Elisa Cicerello *
Matteo Ciaccia
Giandavide Cova
Mario Mangano
(*) Corresponding Author:
Elisa Cicerello |


Objectives: The present study was carried out to evaluate the effectiveness of medical therapy with potassium citrate in preventing calculosis complicating Medullary Sponge Kidney (MSK) without renal acidification defects.
Materials and methods: In a open, uncontrolled, retrospective analysis, 49 MSK patients with nephrolithiasis without renal tubular acidosis, underwent a complete metabolic evaluation and received potassium citrate therapy 4-6 g/day. The course of stone disease before and after citrate therapy was determined in each patient from a combination of clinical history, past records, radiographs and kidney ultrasound. The rate of new stone formation/pt/yr, of endourological and extracorporeal procedures, of urinary tract infection (UTI) and number of hospitalization before and after medical treatment were calculated.
Results: Metabolic anomalies (hypercalciuria, hypocitraturia, hyperuricuria and hyperoxaluria) were present in 83% of the patients. Follow-up before and after alkali citrate therapy was comparable (4.7+/-1.4 and 4.9+/-1.7 years respectively). Medical treatment significantly reduced rates of stone formation from 2.0+/-1.0 to 0.2+/-0.5 pt/yr, ureteroscopy (URS) from 0.9+/0.8 to 0.4+/-0.5 pt/yr, extratracoporeal lithotripsy (ESWL) from 1.1+/-0.8 to 0.4+/-0.6 pt/yr, urinary tract infections (UTIs) from 0.8+/-1.2 to 0.3+/-0.5 pt/yr and hospitalization from 1.1+/-0.6 to 0.2+/-0.3 pt/yr, p < 0.001. This effect was observed also in MSK patients without metabolic anomalies. In 35 patients the asymptomatic disappearance of calcium stones was also observed.
Conclusions: Our study documents the effectiveness of potassium citrate therapy in preventing neprolithiasis in MSK patients also in the absence of distal tubular acidosis. It suggests that in MSK patients alkali citrate may promote calcium stone dissolution by oral administration.

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