Crystallographic Contributions to the Pathogenesis of Renal Lithiasis

  • R. Mongiorgi
Part of the Ettore Majorana International Science Series book series (EMISS, volume 9)


The present work aims to explain some aspects of renal lithiasis, especially taking into account the growth phenomena of crystals.

The integration of x-ray diffractometric analysis with scanning electron microscopy (S.E.M.), allows the use of new tools for the interpretation of growth processes involved in urinary stone formation. As a first result, the growth of an alternative crystal component upon a basic lattice with clear similarity in one or more cell dimensions, defined more generally as epitaxy, was detected and confirmed by an accurate analysis of cell parameters of both compounds. Secondly, S.E.M. analysis ascertained the prevailing presence of a dendritic morphology, through which the primary origin of stone growth may be involved. It is suggested that the interstitial spaces of a dendritic formation assume the role of “active sites” for further growth: this hypothesis is based on the observation of partial dissolution within cavities, a condition showing the metastability of this crystalline morphology.


Uric Acid Renal Lithiasis Urinary Stone Partial Dissolution Dendritic Morphology 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Mongiorgi
    • 1
  1. 1.Istituto di Mineralogia e PetrografiaUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly

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