Pathophysiology of uric acid nephrolithiasis

Orson W. Moe, Nicola Abate, Khashayar Sakhaee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Humans although a predominantly ureotylic organism, has preserved the ability to excrete nitrogen as uric acid and ammonia. An imbalance between these two secondary modes of nitrogen excretion has resulted in uric acid precipitation in human urine. Uric acid nephrolithiasis can arise from diverse etiologies all with distinct underlying defects converging to one or more of three defects of hyperuricosuria, acidic urine pH, and low urinary volume, originating from secondary, genetic or heretofore undefined (idiopathic) causes. A subset of idiopathic uric acid nephrolithiasis (gouty diathesis) may be the "tip of the icebergp" of a broader systemic illness characterized by insulin resistance. A novel renal manifestation of insulin resistance is a mild defect in ammonium excretion, which is not severe enough to disturb acid-base homeostasis, but is sufficient to set up the chemical milieu for uric acid nephrolithiasis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)895-914
Number of pages20
JournalEndocrinology and Metabolism Clinics of North America
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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