Clinical characteristics of potential kidney donors with asymptomatic kidney stones

Elizabeth C. Lorenz, John C. Lieske, Terri J. Vrtiska, Amy E. Krambeck, Xujian Li, Eric J. Bergstralh, L. Joseph Melton, Andrew D. Rule

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Background. Patients with symptomatic kidney stones are characterized by older age, male gender, white race, hypertension, obesity, metabolic syndrome and chronic kidney disease. Whether these characteristics differ in patients with asymptomatic kidney stones is unknown.Methods. All potential kidney donors who underwent protocol computed tomography angiograms/urograms (2000-08) at the Mayo Clinic were identified. Renal abnormalities, including kidney stones, were assessed radiographically. Comorbidities, including past symptomatic kidney stones, were abstracted from the medical record. Characteristics of persons with and without radiographic stones were compared. Stone burden among persons with and without past symptomatic stones was compared.Results. Among 1957 potential kidney donors, 3% had past symptomatic stones and 11% had radiographic stones (10% had only asymptomatic radiographic stones). Asymptomatic stone formers were more likely to be of white race, have low urine volumes and have radiographic findings of renal parenchymal thinning, focal renal scarring, medullary sponge kidney and polycystic kidney disease. Asymptomatic stone formers were not characterized by older age, male gender, hypertension, obesity, metabolic syndrome, abnormal kidney function, hyperuricemia, hypercalcemia or hypophosphatemia. Among persons with radiographic stones, those with past symptomatic stones had a slightly higher number of stones (mean 2.7 versus 2.4; P = 0.04), but a much greater diameter for the largest stone (mean 4.8 versus 1.6 mm; P < 0.001).Conclusions. Asymptomatic kidney stone formers have different demographic characteristics and many lack the comorbidities that have been described in persons with symptomatic kidney stones. These findings suggest that different pathophysiologic mechanisms could be involved in asymptomatic stone formation versus symptomatic stone passage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2695-2700
Number of pages6
JournalNephrology Dialysis Transplantation
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2011


  • chronic kidney disease
  • kidney anatomy
  • kidney stone
  • nephrolithiasis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology
  • Transplantation


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