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  • Author or Editor: Gerald V. Ling x
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Abstract

Objective—To elucidate the ultrastructural details of calcium oxalate-containing urinary calculi from dogs.

Sample Population—38 specimens selected from a collection of 8,297 oxalate-containing urinary calculi from dogs: 22 specimens composed of calcium oxalate (calcium oxalate monohydrate [COM], calcium oxalate dihydrate [COD], or COM and COD) and 16 specimens composed of calcium oxalate with amorphous calcium phosphate.

Procedure—Analyses of specimens included use of plain, reflected, and polarized light microscopy, X-ray diffractometry, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) with backscattered electron (BSE) imagery, and electron microprobe analysis.

Results—Four texture types were observed in calcium oxalate calculi; 4 texture types of calcium oxalatecalcium phosphate-mixed calculi were recognized. Texture types were delineated through differences in calcium oxalate crystal sizes, which were affected by urine supersaturation and abundance of crystal nucleation sites. Segregation of calcium oxalate from calcium phosphate indicated they do not precipitate under the same conditions. Deposition of calcium phosphate between calcium oxalate crystals decreased the volume of pore spaces within calculi. Porosity was observed along boundaries between COM and COD. Minute pores increased the surface area of calculi exposed to urine, and this increase in liquid-solid interface promotes interaction of crystals with the surrounding urine.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Calcium oxalate urolithiasis is of major concern, because it is often a recurrent disease among dogs, principally treated by surgical removal of calculi, with few effective dissolution strategies. Understanding the ultrastructure and mineralogic content of calcium oxalate and its association with amorphous calcium phosphate is a step toward the solution of this increasingly important medical problem. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:237–247)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research