Scanning Microscopy


Possible effects of crystal agglomeration on the early stages of calcium oxalate papillar stone formation are evaluated. The collecting ducts are filled with liquid that flows laminarly as established through hydrodynamical and physicochemical considerations. Under such conditions, agglomeration due to laminar shear forces proceeds. Agglomeration of calcium oxalate monohydrate crystals present in urine at a concentration typical for clinically observed crystalluria cannot result in the formation of a particle sufficiently large enough to be retained in the Bellini's duct and become a papillar stone nidus (nucleus). Formation of such an aggregate during the passage time of urine through the duct requires an unrealistically high concentration of crystals in urine, one that exceeds the normal content of urinary oxalate by several orders of magnitude. Aggregates obstructing the Bellini's duct as assumed in the free particle theory cannot represent a major factor in stone formation. This conclusion is corroborated by experimental results and other observations.

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