Ultrastructure of selected struvite-containing urinary calculi from cats

Rebecca D. Neumann From the Urinary Stone Analysis Laboratory, Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine (Neumann, Ruby, Ling, Johnson), and Department of Geology (Schiffman), University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

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Annette L. Ruby From the Urinary Stone Analysis Laboratory, Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine (Neumann, Ruby, Ling, Johnson), and Department of Geology (Schiffman), University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

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Gerald V. Ling From the Urinary Stone Analysis Laboratory, Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine (Neumann, Ruby, Ling, Johnson), and Department of Geology (Schiffman), University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

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Peter S. Schiffman From the Urinary Stone Analysis Laboratory, Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine (Neumann, Ruby, Ling, Johnson), and Department of Geology (Schiffman), University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

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Deedra L. Johnson From the Urinary Stone Analysis Laboratory, Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine (Neumann, Ruby, Ling, Johnson), and Department of Geology (Schiffman), University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

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Abstract

Objective

To elucidate the ultrastructural details of struvite-containing urinary calculi from cats.

Design

Specimens studied were inclusive of the range of textures visible during preliminary analysis by use of a stereoscopic dissecting microscope. Textural types, which were used to infer crystal growth conditions, were differentiated with regard to crystal habit, crystal size, growth orientation, and primary porosity.

Sample Population

Thirty specimens were selected from a collection of approximately 1,600 feline urinary calculi: 20 of these were composed entirely of struvite, and 10 consisted of struvite and calcium phosphate (apatite).

Procedure

Qualitative and quantitative analyses of specimens included use of plain and polarized light microscopy, x-ray diffractometry, scanning electron microscopy with backscattered electron imagery, x-ray fluorescence scans, and electron probe microanalysis.

Results

Four textural types were recognized among struvite calculi, whereas 2 textural types of struvite-apatite calculi were described.

Conclusions

The presence of minute, well interconnected primary pores in struvite-containing urinary calculi from cats is an important feature, which may promote possible interaction of calculi with changes in urine composition.

Clinical Relevance

Primary porosity, which can facilitate interaction between the calculus and changing urine composition, may explain the efficacy of dietary or medicinal manipulations to promote the dissolution of struvite-containing uroliths from this species. (Am J Vet Res 1996;57:12–24)

Abstract

Objective

To elucidate the ultrastructural details of struvite-containing urinary calculi from cats.

Design

Specimens studied were inclusive of the range of textures visible during preliminary analysis by use of a stereoscopic dissecting microscope. Textural types, which were used to infer crystal growth conditions, were differentiated with regard to crystal habit, crystal size, growth orientation, and primary porosity.

Sample Population

Thirty specimens were selected from a collection of approximately 1,600 feline urinary calculi: 20 of these were composed entirely of struvite, and 10 consisted of struvite and calcium phosphate (apatite).

Procedure

Qualitative and quantitative analyses of specimens included use of plain and polarized light microscopy, x-ray diffractometry, scanning electron microscopy with backscattered electron imagery, x-ray fluorescence scans, and electron probe microanalysis.

Results

Four textural types were recognized among struvite calculi, whereas 2 textural types of struvite-apatite calculi were described.

Conclusions

The presence of minute, well interconnected primary pores in struvite-containing urinary calculi from cats is an important feature, which may promote possible interaction of calculi with changes in urine composition.

Clinical Relevance

Primary porosity, which can facilitate interaction between the calculus and changing urine composition, may explain the efficacy of dietary or medicinal manipulations to promote the dissolution of struvite-containing uroliths from this species. (Am J Vet Res 1996;57:12–24)

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