Do Urinary Cystine Parameters Predict Clinical Stone Activity?

Justin I. Friedlander, Jodi A. Antonelli, Noah E. Canvasser, Monica S.C. Morgan, Daniel Mollengarden, Sara Best, Margaret S. Pearle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Purpose An accurate urinary predictor of stone recurrence would be clinically advantageous for patients with cystinuria. A proprietary assay (Litholink, Chicago, Illinois) measures cystine capacity as a potentially more reliable estimate of stone forming propensity. The recommended capacity level to prevent stone formation, which is greater than 150 mg/l, has not been directly correlated with clinical stone activity. We investigated the relationship between urinary cystine parameters and clinical stone activity. Materials and Methods We prospectively followed 48 patients with cystinuria using 24-hour urine collections and serial imaging, and recorded stone activity. We compared cystine urinary parameters at times of stone activity with those obtained during periods of stone quiescence. We then performed correlation and ROC analysis to evaluate the performance of cystine parameters to predict stone activity. Results During a median followup of 70.6 months (range 2.2 to 274.6) 85 stone events occurred which could be linked to a recent urine collection. Cystine capacity was significantly greater for quiescent urine than for stone event urine (mean ± SD 48 ± 107 vs –38 ± 163 mg/l, p <0.001). Cystine capacity significantly correlated inversely with stone activity (r = –0.29, p <0.001). Capacity also correlated highly negatively with supersaturation (r = –0.88, p <0.001) and concentration (r = –0.87, p <0.001). Using the suggested cutoff of greater than 150 mg/l had only 8.0% sensitivity to predict stone quiescence. Decreasing the cutoff to 90 mg/l or greater improved sensitivity to 25.2% while maintaining specificity at 90.9%. Conclusions Our results suggest that the target for capacity should be lower than previously advised.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)495-499
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2018


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Cystinuria/complications
  • Decision Support Techniques
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • ROC Curve
  • Recurrence
  • Urinary Calculi/diagnosis
  • Young Adult


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