What is Oxalosis?
Oxalosis is a rare metabolic disorder that occurs when the kidneys stop eliminating calcium oxalate crystals from the body through the urine. Because the kidneys stop functioning, oxalate crystals are deposited elsewhere in the body. These oxalate crystals will begin accumulating in the blood, then in the eyes, bones, muscles, blood vessels, heart and other organs.
Oxalosis will become progressively more severe as long as the blood oxalate concentration remains high, and can lead to death. For this reason, prompt diagnosis of the problem and treatment are essential.
Cause of Oxalosis
Oxalosis is largely due to kidney failure associated with of Type I and Type II Hyperoxaluria. Hyperoxaluria is a genetic condition present at birth.
The first indications of oxalosis are usually blood in the urine, the painful passage of kidney stones, or urinary tract obstruction.
Symptoms of oxalosis include:
- Blood in Urine
- Kidney Stones
- Abdominal Pain
- Protein in Urine
- Urinary Tract Obstruction
- Kidney Fibrosis
In advanced stages, the accumulation of oxalate crystals in the bones and joints will lead to bone disease. It may also cause anemia and skin ulcers.
Typically, more than one of the following types of tests will be used to diagnose pediatric oxalosis cases:
- Urine Tests
- Radiologic Exam
- Microscopic Examination of Renal Tissues
Treatment of Oxalosis
Treatment of oxalosis depends on the stage of the disease when discovered and the age of the child. Generally, oxalosis management involves a combination of treatments, including:
- Large Fluid Consumption
- Large Daily Doses of Vitamin B6
- Magnesium Supplements
- Oxalate-Reduced Diet
- Urinary Tract Endoscopy
- Artificial Kidney Machine
- Kidney Transplant
- Kidney-Liver Transplant
Kidney dialysis can remove extra oxalate from the blood, but in most patients with Primary Hyperoxaluria dialysis cannot keep pace with the large amount of oxalate produced by the liver. Depending on the severity and time of diagnosis, a kidney transplant or kidney-liver transplant may be necessary.