Multiple Kidney Stones Linked to Increased Coronary Artery Calcium Interview with:
Dr. Ryan Hsi MD
Clinical Fellow, UCSF Medical School and
Mathew Sorensen, MD, MS
Residency Program Director
Department of Urology
University of Washington
Director, Comprehensive Metabolic Stone Clinic
Puget Sound VA What is the background for this study?

Response: Kidney stones affect 1 in 11 people, and the incidence is rising.  When kidney stones pass, they can be very painful, and if they obstruct urinary flow as they pass, they can be a cause of kidney injury and sepsis.  It is well-known that kidney stones are associated with diseases such as coronary artery disease, obesity, diabetes, and hypertension.  Less well established is the relationship with kidney stones and pre-clinical markers of these diseases.  That is, before a person has a heart attack, a person may develop atherosclerosis first – are kidney stones associated with these early warning signs of future disease? What are the main findings?

Response: This study evaluated the association of coronary artery calcium and kidney stones.  Coronary artery calcium is a measure of calcification of the blood vessels that supply the heart, and it is a predictor of future cardiovascular events.  Our study of the Muli-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis evaluated individuals who had coronary artery calcium measured and compared those who had a history of none, one, or multiple kidney stones.  We found that individuals who had a history of multiple kidney stones were associated with higher levels of coronary artery calcium. What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response: If you have never had any heart problems, but have formed multiple kidney stones, this study suggests that you are at risk for having a future cardiovascular event.  Additional studies are needed to support these findings.  We also know that lifestyle changes that prevent kidney stones are good for the heart: moderating caloric intake, lowering salt intake, and exercise. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Our study was a cross-sectional in design, and we are looking to further corroborate these findings by looking at kidney stones incidence in a longitudinal study. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response:  We are finding that having a kidney stone is more than simply a kidney stone.  They represent a systemic disease, and we are just beginning to understand how they relate to other organ systems in the body. Thank you for your contribution to the community.


Abstract presented at the May 2016 AUA meeting:

Coronary Artery Calcium Score and Association with Recurrent Nephrolithiasis: the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis

Ryan Hsi*, San Francisco, CA, Andrew Spieker, Seattle, WA, Marshall Stoller, San Francisco, CA, David Jacobs, Minneapolis, MN, Alex Reiner, Robyn McClelland, Seattle, WA, Arnold Kahn, Novato, CA, Thomas Chi, San Francisco, CA, Moyses Mzklo, Baltimore, MD, Mathew Sorensen, Seattle, WA

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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Last Updated on May 10, 2016 by Marie Benz MD FAAD