Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Kidney Stones Are More Beautiful Than

Kidney Stones Are More Beautiful

Kidney Stones Are More Beautiful Than you would possibly Think

Kidney stones, the painful urinary deposits that affect quite 10 percent of individuals worldwide, are surprisingly dynamic, forming very similar to microscopic coral reefs, according to new research that would provide insights into the way to better diagnose and treat the condition.

The findings, published last week within the journal Scientific Reports, challenge assumptions by many doctors that kidney stones are homogeneous and insoluble.

Instead, they resemble nanoscale coral reefs or limestone formations: complex, calcium-rich rocks with strata that accumulate and dissolve over time, researchers found.

“When doctors find that ugly, boring lump and discard it, they're discard the most precise record we've — a minute-by-minute, layered history of the kidney’s physiology,” said Bruce Fouke, geology and microbiology professor at the University of Illinois, who led the project.

Dr. Brian Matlaga, a urologist and urinary calculus surgeon at Johns Hopkins called the study “a provocative, outside-the-box approach” to a burdensome health issue.

“When we hack kidney stones surgically, a number of them are indeed quite beautiful — like a geode, just like the rings on a tree, or something you’d hang on your wall,” Dr. Brian Matlaga said.

“So research into this is often very exciting — it’s very novel to the sector .”

Dr. Fouke, whose research projects have taken him skiing through Yellowstone National Park and scuba-diving in Australia’s Great coral reef, saw early connections between human kidney stones and therefore the coral skeletons, thermal spring travertine and even oil and gas migration deep below the planet’s surface: Interactions between living things, water, and mineral growth occur in all three.

“The water that comes out of Yellowstone springs is hot and salty — very similar to seawater, and, yes, urine,” he said. As for the intricate stone deposits that these liquids help form, “You wouldn’t be ready to tell them apart under a microscope.”

Dr. Fouke and his fellow researchers examined quite 50 urinary calculus fragments from six Mayo Clinic patients using various light and electron microscopes.

They identified organic matter and calcium crystals with ultraviolet, which uses different wavelengths to make distinct minerals glow.

A high-resolution method, called Airyscan super-resolution microscopy, captured colorful snapshots of organic matter and crystal layers within the kidney stones, “crosscut and truncated” by newer crevices, triangles, and other geometrics, Dr. Fouke said.

The disruptive patterns within the stones showed that the overwhelming The majority of the fabric had dissolved and reformed over time.

Doctors often base patient care plans upon the chemistry and molecular components of a patient’s urine.

But further research could allow doctors to require advantage of the changing composition of kidney stones themselves, boosting specific ingredients to dissolve the stones completely, without excruciating passage or invasive procedures.

“Now that we all know a process by which they’re growing, the question is, how can we flip the switch the opposite way, and break the stones down?” said Dr. Matlaga, the surgeon.

“If you can intervene at a certain time during these events, you might be able to manipulate the process by which the stones are growing.”

The study credits centuries of revolutionary geologists for uplifting its hypothesis — most importantly, Nicholas Steno, a Danish anatomist who, in 1667, proposed that layered rock could indicate a chronological history of events. (He allegedly died of kidney stones.)

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