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Animal models of urinary stone disease


The etiology of stone disease remains unknown despite the major technological advances in the treatment of urinary calculi. Clinically, urologists have relied on 24-h urine collections for the last 30-40 years to help direct medical therapy in hopes of reducing stone recurrence; yet little progress has been made in preventing stone disease. As such, there is an urgent need to develop reliable animal models to study the pathogenesis of stone formation and to assess novel interventions. A variety of vertebrate and invertebrate models have been used to help understand stone pathogenesis. Genetic knockout and exogenous induction models are described. Surrogates for an endpoint of stone formation have been urinary crystals on histologic examination and/or urinalyses. Other models are able to actually develop true stones. It is through these animal models that real breakthroughs in the management of urinary stone disease will become a reality.

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