Curr Opin Nephrol Hypertens. 2019 Jul ;28(4):311-315. PMID: 31145705
The use of antibiotics and risk of kidney stones.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The effect of the intestinal microbiome on urine chemistry and lithogenicity has been a popular topic. Here we review the evidence for exposure to antibiotics increasing the risk of nephrolithiasis.RECENT FINDINGS: Studies of the intestinal microbiome have focused on Oxalobacter formigenes, an anaerobe that frequently colonizes the human colon. As a degrader of fecal oxalate its presence is associated with lower urinary oxalate, which would be protective against calcium oxalate stone formation. It also appears capable of stimulating colonic oxalate secretion. A recent study showed that antibiotics can eliminate colonization with O. formigenes. In a case-control study, exposure to sulfa drugs, cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones, nitrofurantoin/methenamine, and broad spectrum penicillins prospectively increased the odds of nephrolithiasis. The effect was greatest for those exposed at younger ages and 3-6 months before being diagnosed with nephrolithiasis.SUMMARY: Recent evidence suggests a possible, causal role of antibiotics in the development of kidney stones. A possible explanation for this finding includes alterations in the microbiome, especially effects on oxalate-degrading bacteria like O. formigenes. Ample reasons to encourage antibiotic stewardship already exist, but the possible role of antibiotic exposure in contributing to the increasing prevalence of kidney stones in children and adults is another rationale.