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Am J Kidney Dis. 1991 Apr;17(4):392-5.

Physical chemical studies of calcium oxalate crystallization.

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Chemistry Department, State University of New York, Buffalo 14214.


The physical chemical approach to the investigation of the calcium oxalate (CaOx) crystallization and urolith formation is the systematic examination of the various aspects of mineral precipitation and growth in pure solution, in the presence of individual urinary components, and in whole urine media. Recent experimental studies have indicated that while small urinary ions such as citrate, magnesium, and phosphocitrate retard the mineralization rate of CaOx, urinary macromolecules may act either as inhibitors of growth or promoters of nucleation. Some CaOx mineralization inhibitors have also been found to influence the growth mechanism of the phase and its flocculation properties. Therefore, urinary macromolecules that are adsorbed on the mineralizing crystals and incorporated into the developing stone may play a significant role in urolithiasis.

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