African Health Sciences

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Composition of uroliths in a tertiary hospital in South East Nigeria

Ijeoma A Meka, Martin C Ugonabo, Samuel O Ebede, Ezra O Agbo


Background: Urolithiasis affects primarily the urinary tract and complications as debilitating as renal failure may develop. Determining the chemical composition of uroliths can aid management and prevention of recurrence in patients.
Objective: To determine the chemical composition and anatomical distribution of uroliths in Nigeria.
Methods: This descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted between March 2014 and February 2016, in a tertiary hospital in Nigeria. We reviewed the outcomes of uroliths of adult patients sent to our laboratory for chemical analyses. Samples were analyzed using simple qualitative tests.
Results: 52 adult patients were included with a mean age (SD) of 46.6 (12.6) years. Males (76.9%) were more affected than females (23.1%). For both sexes, highest occurrence of stones was in bladder (85.7%). Calcium-containing stones had the highest occurrence (85.2%) and predominated in the renal, ureter and urethra, followed by struvite stones (59.5%). In the bladder, struvite stones were predominant (85.8%), with calcium-containing stones accounting for 71.4%.
Conclusion: This study showed that struvite and calcium phosphate-containing stones constitute majority of uroliths in our setting with low occurrence of calcium oxalate stones. This indicates that urinary tract infection most likely plays a substantial role in the formation of uroliths in Nigerians. Modern methods of stone analysis is advocated to further define management options.

Keywords: Uroliths, calcium oxalate, chemical composition, struvite, stone, calculi.
AJOL African Journals Online