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Nonrenal Systemic Arterial Calcification Predicts the Formation of Kidney Stones.


Background: Recent data indicate that kidney stone formers (KSFs) may have increased biomineralization at anatomic sites throughout the body compared with nonstone formers (NSFs). The objective of this study is to compare the volume of nonrenal systemic calcifications between KSF and NSF by using a standardized system to analyze calcifications in the abdominal aorta (AA) and splenic artery (SA). Methods: The NSF cohort was obtained from a kidney donor's prospectively maintained database. One hundred ninety-seven NSF were matched to 197 KSF based on age, gender, and body mass index. Noncontrast CT scans were evaluated and semiautomated CT software was utilized to provide an AA and SA calcification Agatston score. Wilcoxon rank-sum test was used on continuous variables and chi-squared test or Fisher's exact test on categorical variables. Odds ratios (ORs) were given for a variable's influence on the formation of stones or calcifications. Results: AA and SA calcifications were more prevalent in the KSF group (p = 0.011 and p = 0.027, respectively). KSFs were 1.9 times more likely to have intermediate or severe AA calcification than NSFs (OR = 1.9, p = 0.004). Severe AA calcifications had even a greater association (OR = 3.1, p = 0.019). KSFs were also more likely to have SA, but this did not reach statistical significance (OR = 3.7, p = 0.103). Conclusion: Patients with increased systemic calcifications, specifically aortic or splenic calcifications, may be at an increased risk for future kidney stone formation. Patients with these imaging findings and additional risk factors for stone disease may be counseled on the future risk of stones.

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