Update on oxalate crystal disease

Elizabeth C. Lorenz, Clement J. Michet, Dawn S. Milliner, John C. Lieske

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Oxalate arthropathy is a rare cause of arthritis characterized by deposition of calcium oxalate crystals within synovial fluid. This condition typically occurs in patients with underlying primary or secondary hyperoxaluria. Primary hyperoxaluria constitutes a group of genetic disorders resulting in endogenous overproduction of oxalate, whereas secondary hyperoxaluria results from gastrointestinal disorders associated with fat malabsorption and increased absorption of dietary oxalate. In both conditions, oxalate crystals can deposit in the kidney leading to renal failure. Since oxalate is primarily renally eliminated, it accumulates throughout the body in renal failure, a state termed oxalosis. Affected organs can include bones, joints, heart, eyes, and skin. Since patients can present with renal failure and oxalosis before the underlying diagnosis of hyperoxaluria has been made, it is important to consider hyperoxaluria in patients who present with unexplained soft tissue crystal deposition. The best treatment of oxalosis is prevention. If patients present with advanced disease, treatment of oxalate arthritis consists of symptom management and control of the underlying disease process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number340
JournalCurrent rheumatology reports
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2013


  • Calcium oxalate
  • Crystalline arthropathy
  • Diagnosis
  • Enteric hyperoxaluria
  • Oxalate crystal disease
  • Oxalosis
  • Primary hyperoxaluria
  • Secondary hyperoxaluria
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


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