and Staghorn Stones:
infections associated with kidney stones can be a
difficult and important problem to treat.
Certain types of infections cause the development of
kidney stones. These infections produce an
enzyme called urease. This enzyme causes the
urine pH to increase favoring the formation of
magnesium ammonium phosphate (struvite) crystals.
Some calcium crystals can also form.
Frequently large, difficult to treat staghorn stones
develop. The infections are impossible to
eradicate with antibiotics alone. Some of the
bacteria can live deep in the stone, where
antibiotics cannot penetrate. Therefore, the
stone(s) often need surgical removal with
concomitant antibiotic treatment. The key to
eradicating the infection is surgical removal of the
entire stone with few if any fragments left behind.
alone is often ineffective.
Although men have
more kidney stones, women are more likely to
develop urinary infections and struvite stones.
Certain bladder disorders are associated with
chronic bladder infections and struvite stones.
Also, people who have had bladder removal and
ureteral diversion are more likely to develop
Infections Complicating Kidney Stones:
chronic urinary infections can cause stones, the
opposite is also true. Stones can lead to
chronic urinary infections. If someone with a
stone develops a kidney infection, the stone can
become secondarily infected. The bacteria can
reach deep pockets within the stone that make
eradication difficult or impossible. Sometimes
long term antibiotic therapy is necessary. Any
patient with pre-existing kidney stones who develops
a urinary infection must be effectively treated.