Rare Immunology News

Disease Profile

Nephrocalcinosis

Prevalence
Prevalence estimates on Rare Medical Network websites are calculated based on data available from numerous sources, including US and European government statistics, the NIH, Orphanet, and published epidemiologic studies. Rare disease population data is recognized to be highly variable, and based on a wide variety of source data and methodologies, so the prevalence data on this site should be assumed to be estimated and cannot be considered to be absolutely correct.

Unknown

Age of onset

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ICD-10

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Inheritance

Autosomal dominant A pathogenic variant in only one gene copy in each cell is sufficient to cause an autosomal dominant disease

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Autosomal recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of each gene of the chromosome are needed to cause an autosomal recessive disease and observe the mutant phenotype

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X-linked
dominant X-linked dominant inheritance, sometimes referred to as X-linked dominance, is a mode of genetic inheritance by which a dominant gene is carried on the X chromosome.

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X-linked
recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of a gene on the X chromosome cause an X-linked recessive disorder

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Mitochondrial or multigenic Mitochondrial genetic disorders can be caused by changes (mutations) in either the mitochondrial DNA or nuclear DNA that lead to dysfunction of the mitochondria and inadequate production of energy.

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Multigenic or multifactor Inheritance involving many factors, of which at least one is genetic but none is of overwhelming importance, as in the causation of a disease by multiple genetic and environmental factors.

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Not applicable

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Other names (AKA)

Hypercalcemic nephropathy

Categories

Kidney and Urinary Diseases

Summary

Nephrocalcinosis is a disorder that occurs when too much calcium is deposited in the kidneys. It commonly occurs in premature infants. Individuals may not have symptoms or may have symptoms related to the condition causing nephrocalcinosis. If kidney stones are present, symptoms may include blood in the urine, fever and chills, nausea and vomiting, and severe pain in the belly area, sides of the back (flank), groin, or testicles. Later symptoms may be associated with chronic kidney failure. It may be caused by use of certain medications or supplements, infection, or any condition that leads to high levels of calcium in the blood or urine including hyperparathyroidism, renal tubular acidosis, Alport syndrome, Bartter syndrome, and a variety of other conditions.[1][2] Some of the underlying disorders that can cause nephrocalcinosis are genetic, with the inheritance pattern depending on the specific disorder. Treatment differs depending on the cause of nephrocalcinosis and often aims to prevent more calcium from being deposited in the kidneys.[1]

Cause

Nephrocalcinosis may be caused by a variety of things, including underlying disorders or conditions, medications or supplements, and infections. Causes may include:[1][2]

Other causes may include the use of certain medications such as acetazolamide; tuberculosis of the kidney; and infections related to AIDS.[1]

Treatment

Treatment of nephrocalcinosis includes treating the underlying condition causing nephrocalcinosis, if it is known. The goal of treatment is to reduce symptoms and prevent more calcium from being deposited in the kidneys. Measures are usually taken to reduce abnormal levels of calcium, phosphate, and oxalate in the blood. Medications that cause calcium loss are typically stopped.[1]

Treatment of hypercalcemia (increased calcium levels in the blood) and hypercalcemic nephropathy typically includes adequate hydration by isotonic sodium chloride (normal saline) solution to reverse hypercalcemia and protect the kidneys. Treatment of macroscopic nephrocalcinosis (calcium deposition that is visible without magnification) may include thiazide diuretics and dietary salt restriction, potassium and magnesium supplementation, and citrate supplementation in idiopathic hypercalciuria (of unknown cause) and in distal renal tubular acidosis. Lessening of nephrocalcinosis may occur over time, but in many cases, such as when it results from primary hyperoxaluria or distal renal tubular acidosis, nephrocalcinosis is largely irreversible. Therefore, early detection and treatment are important.[2]

Individuals interested in learning about treatment options for themselves should speak with their health care provider or a nephrologist.

Organizations

Support and advocacy groups can help you connect with other patients and families, and they can provide valuable services. Many develop patient-centered information and are the driving force behind research for better treatments and possible cures. They can direct you to research, resources, and services. Many organizations also have experts who serve as medical advisors or provide lists of doctors/clinics. Visit the group’s website or contact them to learn about the services they offer. Inclusion on this list is not an endorsement by GARD.

Organizations Providing General Support

    Learn more

    These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.

    Where to Start

    • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.

      In-Depth Information

      • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
      • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
      • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Nephrocalcinosis. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.

        References

        1. Nephrocalcinosis. MedlinePlus. 8/31/2015; https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000492.htm.
        2. Fulop T, Agraharkar M, Gupta R. Nephrocalcinosis. Medscape. December 7, 2015; https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/243911-overview.
        3. Kobrin SM, Curhan GC, LAM AQ. Nephrocalcinosis. UpToDate. April 7, 2017; https://www.uptodate.com/contents/nephrocalcinosis.

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