Kidney stones during pregnancy: An investigation into stone composition

Ashley E. Ross, Shelly Handa, James E. Lingeman, Brian R. Matlaga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Kidney stones can be a source of considerable morbidity for pregnant women. Although there is a body of literature confirming that different stone compositions predominate for different age and sex cohorts, there have been no similar reports characterizing the nature of stone disease during pregnancy. We performed a multi-institutional study to define the composition of renal calculi diagnosed during pregnancy. We retrospectively reviewed the records from two stone referral centers of all patients diagnosed with a de novo kidney stone during pregnancy who underwent a procedure for the purpose of stone removal from June 2001 through September 2007. A total of 27 patients were identified, with a mean age of 26.8 years (range, 21-34). Twenty patients (74%) had no history of prior stone formation. Seven patients (26%) had previously formed stones, although none of these patients had a known kidney stone at the time they became pregnant. Stones were removed in the first, second, third trimester and immediately post-partum in 4, 52, 22, and 22% respectively. Stone removal was performed without complication in all cases. Analysis found that in 74% of all cases (20 patients) stones were composed predominantly of calcium phosphate (hydroxyapatite). In 26% of cases, (7 patients) the stones were composed predominantly of calcium oxalate. Of the seven patients with prior stone history, three patients had previously formed calcium phosphate stones and four patients had previously formed calcium oxalate stones. Calcium oxalate calculi are the most common stone in non-pregnant women of a comparable age as our subjects. However, our present data suggest that stones detected during pregnancy are most commonly composed of calcium phosphate (hydroxyapatite). Indeed, it is the minority of stones that are composed of calcium oxalate. Although the reason for this unusual preponderance of calcium phosphate calculi is unclear, physiologic alterations that occur during pregnancy may be influential.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-102
Number of pages4
JournalUrological Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1 2008


  • Calculus
  • Kidney
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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