Epidemiology of Nephrolithiasis and Chronic Kidney Disease

Led by principal investigator Andrew D. Rule, M.D., a nephrologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, this project on nephrolithiasis and chronic kidney disease is aimed at predicting risk of kidney stone recurrence and subsequent development of chronic kidney disease.

Researchers working on the project developed a recurrence of kidney stone model to predict the risk of developing a second kidney stone event after a first stone. Evidence gathered by Dr. Rule also demonstrated that nephrolithiasis is a risk factor for subsequent development of chronic kidney disease. His team is investigating potential underlying pathogenic factors to explain this association.

The project leverages data in the Rochester Epidemiology Project. A population-based historical cohort and a prospective cohort of patients with first-time kidney stones and matched controls are being studied, along with new patients and matched controls.

Physicians currently can't identify which patients are at high risk of kidney stone recurrence. Research results are expected to help better characterize the natural history of nephrolithiasis and help identify which categories of patients might require more aggressive treatment to prevent recurrent stones or loss of kidney function over time. In addition, urine and DNA samples, detailed clinical history and exam findings may be useful for other epidemiologic studies and future genotype-phenotype studies.