What is the role of pH studies in the diagnosis of nephrolithiasis?

Updated: Jan 13, 2020
  • Author: Chirag N Dave, MD; Chief Editor: Bradley Fields Schwartz, DO, FACS  more...
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Some stones, such as those composed of uric acid or cystine, are pH-dependent, meaning that they can form only in acidic conditions. Calcium phosphate and struvite only form when the urine pH is alkaline. Although the other parameters in the 24-hour urine usually identify patients at risk of forming these stones, pH studies can be important in monitoring these patients, in optimizing therapy with citrate supplementation, and in identifying occult stone disease in some patients.

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