Citrate is an important naturally occurring inhibitor of calcium stone formation in urine. Urinary citrate excretion was examined in 43 consecutive patients with recurrent idiopathic calcium nephrolithiasis and in 50 normal controls by a specific enzymatic technique. Hypocitraturia (<1.6 mmol/24h) was found in 14 (33%) stone formers compared to 6 (12%) normal controls (p = 0.03). Citrate excretion expressed as citrate-creatinine ratio in 24 hour urine samples was significantly lower in the stone formers than in the healthy controls (p = 0.03), and significantly lower in healthy men, compared to healthy females (p = 0.006). There was a great variability in urinary citrate levels in both groups, and a considerable overlap in the urinary citrate excretion between normal subjects and stone formers. Factors other than urinary citrate excretion must therefore be of importance in the pathophysiology of calcium stone formation. Citrate-calcium ratio in urine proved to be a reliable index in discriminating stone formers from healthy subjects.
Ugeskrift for Laeger, 1993, Vol 155, Issue 47, p. 3835-9