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What are struvite kidney stones?

Struvite stones are composed of magnesium, ammonium, phosphate crystals mixed with carbonate-apatite. These stones are associated with urinary tract infections caused by bacteria that produce urease. Urease hydrolyzes (or splits) urea into ammonium and hydroxyl ions resulting in an increase in ammonium and phosphate concentrations leading to an alkaline urine. The alkaline urine leads to precipitation of magnesium ammonium phosphate crystals mixed with varying proportions of carbonate apatite. The infection stones generally grow rapidly and serve as a nidus (or center) for further stone formation. This stone matrix is believed to protect the bacteria from antibiotics.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.