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Evaluation of Calcium Oxalate Kidney Stones using X-Ray Fluorescence

Evaluation of Calcium Oxalate Kidney Stones using X-Ray Fluorescence

Mr. Darrion Walker, Dr. Mitko Voutchkov, Dr. William Aiken
Faculty of Medical Sciences
Pharmaceuticals, Nutraceuticals, Health and Well-Being


Kidney stones have become increasingly prevalent over the past two decades with the prevalence rate worldwide being approximately 1.7% to 8.8%(1). Fifty percent (50%) of individuals that have had renal calculi will have a recurrence(2). Stones such as Calcium Oxalate are idiopathic(3). This study aims to identify the composition and concentration of elements present in calcium oxalate stones.


In this study 28 kidney stones were collected from 14 participants. The stones were rinsed in deionized water for 2 minutes and then left to air dry for 10 minutes. They were afterward rinsed in 75% Isopropyl alcohol for 5 minutes and then left to air dry for 10 minutes. Quality control was carried out on the XRF unit to assess its accuracy and repeatability. A non-destructive approach was taken to analyse the kidney stones. The stone samples were placed on a 12μm thick Mylar sheet and positioned over the x-ray window of the XRF unit. Each kidney stone sample was measured four times, twice on each surface. The results were averaged and recorded.

Results & Discussion

Calcium was the most abundant element detected followed by phosphorous. Other elements detected in the kidney stone samples included Potassium, Scandium, Silicon, Zinc, Chlorine, Tungsten and Sulphur.


The data indicated the ability of XRF technology to determine the elemental composition of kidney stones forelements with atomic number greater than 14 and at concentration as low as 0.01%.

Relevance of Study

By understanding the elemental compositionand concentrationof Calcium Oxalate stones, potential statistical relationship between the elements could be used to create mathematical and statistical models which would help to better understand their formation.


  1. Chang Xu CZ, Xiao-Long Wang, Tong-Zu Liu, Xian-Tao Zeng, Shen Li, and Xiao-Wen Duan Self-Fluid Management in Prevention of Kidney Stones: A PRISMA-Compliant Systematic Review and Dose–Response Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies. Medicine 2015 94.
  2. Kang EC. Chemical Composition of Urinary Tract Stones at the University Hospital of the West Indies. West Indian Medical Journal 2008;57(5).
  3. Andrew Evan EW, Fredric Coe, James Williams Jr, James Lingeman. Mechanisms of human kidney stone formation. Urolithiasis. 2014
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