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Morphological and crystallographic analysis of kidney stones in Eastern Morocco

Bouchra El guerrouj, Mohamed Bouhrim, Noureddine Bencheikh, Hamada Imtara, Loubna Kharchoufa, Hayat Ouassou, Yassamine Bentata, Michel Daudon, Mohammed Melhaoui


Abstract: Renal lithiasis is a common disease in the eastern region of Morocco, as it threatens the public health because of its repetitive nature as well as the complications it can cause in the kidney.

Objective: This study aims to investigate the morphological, molecular, and crystallographic characteristics of kidney stones affecting patients, specifically in the eastern region of Morocco.

Methods: Morphological and constitutional analyses of 239 renal lithiases made it possible to identify the various crystalline forms present, to assess the structure of the stones and to determine the composition of their nucleation zone.  

Results: It appears that calcium oxalate is the main component of the analyzed stones. It represents 70.5 % of the stones, which 55.5 % are majority whewellite and 15 % in weddellite. In comparison, calcium phosphates and magnesium (carbapatite and struvite) are the majority in only 8.9 % of cases, uric acid in 19.8 % of stones, and ammonium acid urate in 0.8 %. Calcium oxalate is predominant in the core of 52.5 % of the stones, carbapatite in 24.1 %, and uric acid in 20.3 % and struvite in 2.9 %. Most of the stones analyzed consist of a mixture of different crystalline constituents. Only 9.3 % of the stones analyzed have a homogeneous composition. Several types of associations were identified, the main ones being whewellite-carbapatite and whewellite-weddellite-carbapatite.  Conclusion: The present study shows that calcium oxalate is the most common compound in the samples studied, followed by the uric acid compound.

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