Higher stone risk in metabolic syndrome patients

Fri, 11 Sep 2015 • Joel Vega

Patients who are overweight, diabetic or have other metabolic syndrome problems face a higher risk of forming kidney stones, according to experts gathered in Alicante, Spain, for the 3rd Meeting of the EAU Section of Urolithiasis (EULIS).

From an overview of stone treatment in Europe, the links of stone disease with metabolic syndrome, to the disparity of healthcare among developed and poor countries and its impact on the delivery of optimal treatment, urolithiasis experts tackle a range of current and provocative issues. The biannual meeting will continue in the weekend, covering treatment updates, video and abstracts presentations and skills workshops.

“A significant proportion of stone-forming patients are overweight and obese…the prevalence of stone disease in the last three decades has doubled and there is a strong link between MS (metabolic syndrome) and stone formation,” said Noor Buchholz during the opening plenary session.

Aside from medical management of the underlying cause of MS, Buchholz said lifestyle and diet changes are recommended for these patients. He also noted the importance of regular physical exercise and achieving normal Body Mass Index (BMI) as among the recommendations needed to treat patients.

J.M. Reis-Santos (PT) discussed optimal healthcare delivery for stone patients, and focused on the inability of developing or poorer countries to use non-surgical treatment due to the lack of new hospital equipment or their lack of access to minimally invasive technology.

“Open surgery can be justified in poor countries where the scarcity of necessary equipment is a problem,” said Reis-Santos adding that in cases when there is an acute lack of resources, procedures such as Shock Wave Lithotripsy (SWL) can easily be made available in remote places. He said SWL require non-invasive procedures, less anaesthesia and has a lower rate of complications.

H. G. Tiselius (SE) gave an overview of stone treatment andprovided a summary of the achievements and development of urolithiasis groups in Europe and their activities. He noted the gains made in previous decades particularly in the evolution from invasive to non-invasive treatment strategies. He, however, underscored that a lot more needs to be done particularly in bio-chemical research work, where advances are needed for accurate diagnosis and stone recurrence prevention.

Updates on stone disease and the analysis and origin of various stone conditions were discussed by speakers J. C Williams (US) and D. Kok (NL) who examined imaging techniques and stone growth characteristics, respectively.

The EULIS programme in the next two days will also present new clinical work from across Europe during abstract presentations, video sessions and technical workshops. An exhibit of equipment and technology also complement the three-day event.More than 200 participants are attending the EULIS which was last held in Copenhagen and London in 2011 and 2013.