Effects of trace metals on the inhibition of calcium oxalate crystallization

J. A. Muñoz, M. Valiente

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39 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to examine the possible effects of some trace metals on the inhibition of calcium oxalate crystallization. A test of urinary lithogenic risk was used to follow the crystallization of calcium oxalate from artificial urine in the presence of several metal ions assayed in their physiological concentrations. Interactions of these metal ions with known inhibitors of such crystallization (phytate, pyrophosphate, citrate and chondroitin sulphate) were also investigated. None of the metals affected the inhibition of calcium oxalate crystallization at concentrations approximating those found in normal urine, with the exception of the Fe3+ ions. Interactions of Fe3+ with some urinary components produced both synergic (phytate and pyrophosphate) and negative (citrate) effects on preventing crystallization. These effects are explained in terms of the affinity of the inhibitors for the calcium oxalate crystal surface and their ability to form stable complexes in urine. Because of the minimal concentrations, we conclude that physiological concentrations of trace elements in urine have no significant influence on calcium oxalate crystallization. In this sense, ferric ions, which exhibit an intrinsic high inhibitory capacity of calcium oxalate crystallization at physiological concentrations, even increased by the concomitant presence of phytate and pyrophosphate, are probably unable to act as powerful inhibitors in the presence of physiological urinary concentrations of citrate, due to the formation of highly stable complexes in solution without inhibitory activity. © Springer-Verlag 2005.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-272
JournalUrological Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2005


  • Calcium oxalate
  • Citrate
  • Glycosaminoglycans
  • Inhibitors
  • Interaction
  • Iron
  • Phytate
  • Pyrophosphate
  • Trace metals


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