Kidney Stones and Chronic Kidney Disease

One of the biggest stories coming out of Renal Week 2008 was this abstract which linked kidney stones to the development of CKD. This is an important study but I filed it under “no duh.” Patients with kidney stones tend to be heavier, have more hypertension, get episodes of acute renal failure and have repeated instrumentation on the kidneys. They also have gout, and associated hyperuricemia, an increasingly important progression factor for CKD and hypertension.

The most important aspect of this is the question that was left unanswered: do kidney stones cause CKD. The association makes sence but causality would be much more important because we have good tools to prevent kidney stones and it would be wonderful if by preventing kidney stones we could also be preventing future kidney failure.

Hopefully this question will be answered in the near future.

[F-FC202] Kidney Stones Are Associated with an Increased Risk of Developing Chronic Kidney Disease

Andrew Rule, Eric Bergstralh, L. Joseph Melton, Xujian Li, Amy Weaver, John Lieske Nephrology, Mayo Clinic; Health Sciences Research, Mayo Clinic

Background: Kidney stones lead to chronic kidney disease (CKD) in patients with rare genetic diseases (e.g., primary hyperoxaluria), but it is less clear if kidney stones are an important risk factor for CKD in the general population.

: A cohort of all Olmsted County, MN residents with incident kidney stones in the years 1984-2003 were matched 3:1 to controls in the general population based on index date (first stone diagnosis for stone formers and any clinic visit for controls), age, and sex. Diagnostic codes (yrs: 1935-2007) and serum creatinine levels (yrs: 1983-2006) were captured with the linkage infrastructure of the Rochester Epidemiology Project. Risk of incident chronic kidney disease was assessed using clinical diagnostic codes, end-stage renal disease (dialysis, transplant or death with CKD), sustained (>90 days) elevated serum creatinine (>1.3 mg/dl in men, >1.1 mg/dl in women), and sustained estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) < 60 ml/min/1.73 m2. Proportional hazards models adjusted for age, sex, and baseline and time-dependent co-morbidities (diabetes, obesity, gout, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, alcohol, tobacco, coronary artery disease, heart failure, cerebral infarct, and peripheral vascular disease).

: After excluding persons with prevalent CKD, 4424 stone formers and 10995 controls were identified with a mean follow-up of 8.4 and 8.8 years, respectively. Stone formers had an increased risk of developing a clinical diagnosis of CKD [hazard ratio (HR)=1.6, 95% CI: 1.4-1.8, see figure], end-stage renal disease (HR=1.4, 95% CI: 0.9-2.2), a sustained elevated serum creatinine (HR = 1.4, 95% CI: 1.2-1.7), and a sustained reduced eGFR (HR = 1.4, 95% CI: 1.2-1.6).

: These data argue kidney stones to be an important risk factor for chronic kidney disease.