Professor Marguerite Hatch, of the Department of Pathology, Immunology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Florida, Gainesville, has considerable experience in clinical research in the context of kidney stone disease. She has published extensively in the area.
Kidney stones are very common, with about 15% of the population afflicted with this disease of unknown cause. There are global geographic "stone belts" and Ireland is in one of these areas. While there are many types of urinary stones with differing chemical compositions, and caused by different mechanisms, the most common type (~80%) is made of calcium oxalate. Still, today in 2014, the cause of stone disease is generally unknown and the diagnosis is based on various "risk factors" as well as the chemical composition of the stone. This talk will present the basics in our current understanding of stone disease, with a special emphasis on oxalate stones. In addition, oxalate stone disease in a rare genetic disease of the liver called Primary Hyperoxaluria, which is generally misdiagnosed, will be discussed as will stone disease in an emerging population of patients who have undergone gastric bypass surgery to cure obesity. The latter patient population is growing rapidly because of the rapid growth in obesity in Western society resulting in oxalate stone disease that is secondary to the surgical procedure and manifesting about a year or more after the surgery has been performed. Unfortunately, since there is no effective, pharmacological (drug) treatment for oxalate stones, a potential probiotic (“good” bacteria ingestion) treatment based upon experimental animal studies will be presented.