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Medullary Sponge Kidney

Posted by KWT on June 10, 1999 at 12:05:28
I have been diagnosed with Medullary Sponge Kidneys with that X-ray where they inject the dye into your system.  Though I have never seen a stone that I have passed, I have had pain that starts in the back, and moves to the groin area about every 6 months lasting a month or 2.  My doctor told me to try to lay off chocolate, Cokes, and to take in lots of water and calcium.  Everything I have read about stones says to slow down Calcium intake.  Should I take in calcium or not?  I have never really liked milk or taken supplements, so my calcium is probably low already.  Also is there any medication I can take to slow down the formation of Kidney stones that are due to MSK.  Lastly I also had an Osteoid Osteoma, or "Bone Island" in the X-ray.  This was on the diagnosis, but my doctor told me he knew nothing about what that was.  I found some Information on the internet about it, and it poses me little threat.  I was wondering if this was due to the MSK as well, and is this a sign of Nephrocalcinosis?
Thank you

Posted by HFHS M.D.-BE on June 29, 1999 at 10:15:26

Dear KWT,
Medullary Sponge Kidney(MSK) is an adult disease, which is characterized by dilation(swelling)of collecting ducts in the kidneys.  The collecting ducts are the part of the kidney, where the filtered urine will eventually pass through before being excreted into the pelvis of the kidney and out to the bladder.  There could be numerous cysts(contained pouch of fluid)associated with these ducts.  A significant number of the patients with MSK are asymptomatic, and their condition is never diagnosed.  The most common symptom associated with MSK is renal (kidney) colic(50 to 60 %)followed by urinary tract infection(20 to 33 %)and bloody urine(10 to 18 %).  About 1/3 to 1/2 of patients with MSK have high blood calcium.  Less than 10% of asymptomatic patients may have a poor long term outcome due to kidney stones, kidney infections, and kidney failure.  However, with the appropriate treatment for increased calcium and kidney stones, as well as prevention of infections and kidney failure, this number is reduced.  You need to have close follow up with your doctors if you have any of the conditions described.  As far as calcium intake, you can rely on daily dietary sources of calcium to supplement your need without having to worry about overdosing on calcium. Furthermore, contrary to  popular belief, milk is not a great source of calcium ( since the absorption of its calcium Is poor in human gut), nor is it a good thing in excess.
This information is provided for general medical educational purposes only.  Please consult your physician for diagnostic and treatment options pertaining to your specific medical condition.  More individualized care is available at the Henry Ford Hospital and its satellites (1 800 653-6568).
*keyword: medullary sponge kidney

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