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Other Names for this Disease
- Hypercalcemic nephropathy
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Nephrocalcinosis may be caused by a variety of things, including underlying disorders or conditions, medications or supplements, and infections. Causes may include:
- Primary hyperparathyroidism is the single most common cause of nephrocalcinosis in adults. While nephrocalcinosis is a relatively rare complication (5%), primary hyperparathryroidism is relatively common, especially in the elderly. Rarely, hyperparathyroidism can be associated with multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1).
- Distal renal tubular acidosis (RTA) is the second most common cause of medullary nephrocalcinosis.
- hypervitaminosis-D states resulting from excessive treatment of hypoparathyroidism, self-administration of vitamins, and the presence of a granulomatous disease, such as sarcoidosis.
- Any other cause of hypercalcemia (increased calcium in the blood), particularly when associated with hypercalciuria (increased calcium in the urine). Causes include milk-alkali syndrome (due to excess ingestion of antacids), hyperparathyroidism, and malignant disease. Idiopathic hypercalciuria, a common metabolic disease, is also a known cause.
- Nephrocalcinosis and renal failure are increasingly being recognized as common complications of phosphate supplementation, particularly in the elderly. Phosphate supplements may contribute to renal calcifications in children with hypophosphatemic rickets.
- Medullary sponge kidney
- Rapidly progressive osteoporosis due to immobilization, menopause, aging, or steroids.
- Primary (familial) hyperoxaluria, or secondary hyperoxaluria due to increased intake of oxalates, increased absorption due to intestinal disease, or ingestion of ethylene glycol.
- Chronic disorders such as Bartter syndrome, primary hyperaldosteronism, Liddle syndrome, and 11-beta hydroxylase deficiency are associated with reduced urine citrate and tubular damage, leading to calcium deposits.
- Autosomal dominant hypophosphatemic rickets and X-linked hypophosphatemic conditions, possibly due to phosphate supplementation for the condition.
- Premature, sick infants have been observed to develop diffuse nephrocalcinosis, typically when exposed to diuretic therapy or prolonged O 2 therapy.
- Other causes may include the use of certain medications such as acetazolamide; tuberculosis of the kidney; and infections related to AIDS
Last updated: 2/24/2011
- Tibor Fulop, Mahendra Agraharkar, Rupert Patel, Rajiv Gupta. Nephrocalcinosis. eMedicine. April 21, 2009; http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/243911-overview. Accessed 2/24/2011.
- Louis S. Liou, David Zieve. Nephrocalcinosis. PubMed Health. August 30, 2009; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001522. Accessed 2/24/2011.