Struvite stones are also described as infection stones since they occur mainly due to urinary tract infections. These stones will grow fast and will occupy large parts of the kidney. Even though lots of antibiotics are available nowadays, this infection stone is prevalent in some 15 to 20 % of kidney stone sufferers.
The bacteria that are producing urinary tract infections and thereby struvite stones are proteus and klebsiella. Any conditions that cause urinary tract infection with bacteria have the ability to produce ammonia which will be a key factor in struvite stone formation. Since bladder may have some urine stagnant, the possibility of bacteria growing is more.
Symptoms of struvite stone
Struvite stone does not really show any symptoms like other stones. Mild pain and blood in urine may be seen. However these symptoms can be normally associated with urinary tract infection only. Recurrent infection may be a symptom of struvite stone.
How to diagnose the Struvite stones?
If you have recurrent urinary tract infection then you should go for x-ray or CTscan. This will clearly help in identifying the type of stone. Urine test that shows high pH level more than 7 will also state the formation of struvite stone. A microscopic test that shows crystals in urine will also indicate Struvite stones.
What are the risks involved with this stone?
As already told, this stone will grows at a very fast pace and can cause infections frequently. Sometimes it may also cause acute kidney failure. Normally frequent infection will cause chronic kidney failure.
What are the treatments available to treat Struvite stones?
The complication of this stone makes it indispensable to take treatment as early as possible. Medication will not be successful for more people in removing this stone. Extra corporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) is useful in removing small stones. If the stone is difficult to remove by ESWL method then percutaneous nephrolithotomy can be used. In some rare cases ESWL is used after percutaneous nephrolithotomy to remove smaller pieces of stones. For larger stones, open surgery is required.
After removing the stones, follow up is required at regular intervals to confirm new stones have not been formed.
How to prevent Struvite stones?
Struvite stone formation can be prevented by restricting or treating urinary tract infection. Once you have struvite stones, then you should completely remove the stones in any of the above methods. This is important because struvite stones will also cause calcium stone formation and then in turn may lead to kidney failure.