Kidney stone tool predicts risk of symptomatic recurrence

Mayo Clinic researchers have developed a prediction tool that can estimate when people who have experienced kidney stones will experience future episodes.

The tool, which is available online or as an app, can help “guide the management of stone formers by individualizing prevention interventions on the basis of the risk of symptomatic recurrence,” according to a new study published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

The risk of symptomatic recurrence is estimated by the tool based on both the number of past episodes and risk factors. One of the study’s findings is that more risk factors for recurrence increased with the number of episodes.

“Each of the risk factors we identified are entered into the model, which then calculates an estimate of the risk of having another kidney stone in the next five or 10 years,” says study co-author John Lieske, MD, director of the Mayo Clinic’s O'Brien Urology Research Center.

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Researchers developed the Recurrence of Kidney Stone model using random sample of incident symptomatic kidney stone formers in Olmsted County, Minn., who were followed for all symptomatic stone episodes resulting in clinical care from January 1984 through January 2017.

“All data were obtained through the Rochester Epidemiology Project, a resource that provides access to medical records of nearly all medical institutions for residents of the county,” states the study.

What researchers discovered were that patients who had recurrent stone events included younger age, male gender, a higher body mass index, history of pregnancy and a family history of stones.

Lieske contends that by knowing the risk factors for stone recurrence and the likelihood of future kidney stone episodes the tool can be an incentive for patients to modify lifestyle behaviors and help foster their “enthusiasm for adopting dietary measures and/or starting drug regimens to prevent future attacks.”

At the same time, the study notes that “there are dietary and medication interventions that can be used to help prevent kidney stone formation and growth, but these interventions can be burdensome and costly and have potential adverse effects.”

Nonetheless, the study’s co-authors also conclude that the tool can be used to “estimate symptomatic stone episode rates that result in clinical care for use in clinical trials on kidney stone prevention.”

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