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Biomineralogy of human urinary calculi (kidney stones) from some geographic regions of Sri Lanka


Kidney stones (urinary calculi) have become a global scourge since it has been recognized as one of the most painful medical problems. Primary causative factors for the formation of these stones are not clearly understood, though they are suspected to have a direct relationship to the composition of urine, which is mainly governed by diet and drinking water. Sixty nine urinary calculi samples which were collected from stone removal surgeries were analyzed chemically for their Na, K, Ca, Mg, Cu, Zn, Pb, Fe and phosphate contents. Structural and mineralogical properties of stones were studied by XRD and FT-IR methods. The mean contents of trace elements were 1348 mg kg−1 (Na); 294 mg kg−1 (K); 32% (Ca); 1426 mg kg−1 (Mg); 8.39 mg kg−1 (Mn); 258 mg  kg−1 (Fe); 67 mg kg−1 (Cu); 675 mg kg−1 (Zn); 69 mg kg−1 (Pb); and 1.93% (PO 3−4 ). The major crystalline constituent in the calculi of Sri Lanka is calcium oxalate monohydrate. Principal component analysis was used to identify the multi element relationships in kidney stones. Three components were extracted and the first component represents positively correlated Na-K-Mg-PO 3−4 whereas the␣second components represent the larger positively weighted Fe–Cu–Pb. Ca–Zn correlated positively in the third component in which Mn–Cu correlated negatively. This study indicates that during the crystallization of human urinary stones, Ca shows more affinity towards oxalates whereas other alkali and alkaline earths precipitate with phosphates.

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Authors gratefully acknowledge Mr. G.P. Jayasena and the staff of the Urology Unit, Kandy General Hospital for providing us with the urinary stones samples and important information for this research project. We also thank Dr. Atula Bandara, Mr. Milan Krishantha and Mr. J. Pitawala for making the FT-IR facilities available.

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Correspondence to Rohana Chandrajith.

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Contribution from the Environmental Geology Research Group (EGRG), Department of Geology, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.

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Chandrajith, R., Wijewardana, G., Dissanayake, C.B. et al. Biomineralogy of human urinary calculi (kidney stones) from some geographic regions of Sri Lanka. Environ Geochem Health 28, 393–399 (2006).

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  • Urinary calculi
  • Biomineralization
  • Principal component analysis
  • Sri Lanka