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INTRODUCTION - Cystinuria is a genetic disorder marked by elevated urinary cystine excretion and recurrent cystine nephrolithiasis. Interestingly, despite seemingly similar contralateral renal anatomy, a subset of cystinuric patients consistently form stones in only one kidney. The aim of this study is to evaluate clinical outcomes in unilateral vs bilateral cystine stone formers.
PATIENTS AND METHODS - We performed a retrospective case-control study of cystinuric patients evaluated and treated at the University of California, San Francisco between 1994 and 2015 and categorized patients as either unilateral or bilateral stone formers. Clinical presentation, baseline patient demographics, stone procedures, medical therapy regimens, and long-term renal function were compared between the two groups.
RESULTS - A total of 42 cystine stone patients (22 female, 20 male) were included in the analysis. The median age at first presentation was 18.5 years and median age at study conclusion was 45.5 years. Two-thirds of patients (n = 28) had a history of bilateral stones, whereas one-third (n = 14) had unilateral stones. Medical therapy regimens were similar between groups. Despite an increased average number of lifetime surgeries (7.5 sessions for bilateral vs 3.7 sessions for unilateral, p < 0.05), there was no significant difference in medians of the most recent glomerular filtration rate when compared with unilateral stone formers (81.5 vs 95 mL/min, respectively; p = 0.28).
CONCLUSIONS - The majority of cystinuric patients within our cohort form stones bilaterally during their lifetime, and require more surgical interventions than unilateral stone formers. Despite this, overall renal function is well preserved in unilateral and bilateral cystinuric stone formers treated with minimally invasive stone extraction procedures.