Histological aspects of the “fixed-particle” model of stone formation: animal studies

Saeed R. Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Crystallization by itself is not harmful as long as the crystals are not retained in the kidneys and are allowed to pass freely down the renal tubules to be excreted in the urine. A number of theories have been proposed, and studies performed, to determine the mechanisms involved in crystal retention within the kidneys. It has been suggested that urinary transit through the nephron is too fast for crystals to grow large enough to be retained. Thus, free particle mechanism alone cannot lead to stone formation, and there must be a mechanism for crystal fixation within the kidneys. Animal model studies suggest that crystal retention is possible through both the free- and fixed-particle mechanisms. Crystal–cell interaction leads to pathological changes which promote crystal attachment to either epithelial cells or their basement membrane. Alternatively, crystals aggregate and produce large enough particles to block the tubules particularly at sites, where urinary flow is affected because of changes in the luminal diameter of the tubule. Crystal deposits plugging the openings of the ducts of Bellini may be the result of such a phenomenon. Intratubular crystals translocating to renal interstitium may produce osteogenic changes in the epithelial or endothelial cells resulting in the formation of the Randall’s plaques. Thus, fixation appears to be either through the formation of Randall’s plugs, crystal plugs clogging the openings of the ducts of Bellini or sub-epithelial crystal deposits, and the Randall’s plaques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
StateAccepted/In press - Nov 28 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Animal model
  • Calcium oxalate
  • Fixed particle
  • Free particle
  • Randall's plaque
  • Randall's plug

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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