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Study of crystalluria in diabetic patients

Study of crystalluria in diabetic patients

Progres en Urologie 15(3): 420-5; Discussion 425-6

The incidence of diabetes, particularly non-insulin-dependent diabetes, is on the increase in industrialized and developing countries. The prevalence of renal stones in the diabetic population was recently estimated to be 21%, i.e. more than twice the prevalence of stones in the general population. Other studies have emphasized the high frequency of uric acid stones in this particular population. The present study was designed to verify whether diabetic patients present a particular type of crystalluria predisposing them to a high frequency of uric acid stones than other types of stones, which could allow detection of this risk and the proposal of therapeutic measures to prevent these stones. The first morning urine of 208 diabetic patients was examined by polarized light microscopy to detect and identify crystalluria. Patients were distributed into 3 age-groups: less than 40 years, 40 to 59.9 years and 60 years or more. The results are expressed as the predominant crystalline species. The overall frequency of crystalluria was 29.8%, i.e. about one half that observed in calcium stones. However, the crystallogenic profile was very unusual, as 61.3% of cases of crystalluria consisted of purine. Uric acid crystalluria was twice as frequent in women than in men (66% vs 33.3%, p < 0.05). The mean pH of the urine of diabetic subjects was 5.5, i.e. significantly more acidic than that of normal subjects or patients with calcium stones. pH was negatively correlated with the patient's age, decreasing from 5.54 in patients younger than 40 to 5.3 in patients over the age of 60 (p < 0.05). The mean pH of crystalluric urine was significantly more acidic than that of crystal-free urine (pH 5.2 +/- 0.46 vs 5.5 +/- 0.67, p < 0.01). Diabetic patients have an acidic urinary pH which tends to decrease with age, predisposing to uric acid crystalluria, which is particularly frequent in women. The high prevalence of uric acid crystalluria and the high proportion of uric acid stones reported in diabetic women suggest that women are at greater risk than men of developing uric acid stones in the context of diabetes. The study of crystalluria could be useful to detect this risk and to propose preventive measures. Complementary studies are necessary to identify factors accounting for the increased risk of uric acid stones in diabetic women and to verify whether good glycaemic control can reduce the crystallogenic risk.

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Accession: 050427020

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PMID: 16097146

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