Overview of Nephrocalcinosis

Nephrocalcinosis definition is a kidney disease that occurs due to high levels of calcium deposited in the kidneys. This condition is quite common in premature babies. Most of the time, this condition affects both kidneys. Nephrocalcinosis is related to kidney stones but these two conditions are not the same

Signs and Symptoms of Nephrocalcinosis

In most cases, nephrocalcinosis exhibits no clear symptoms. But children who suffer from an underlying kidney condition may show the following symptoms:

  1. Blood in urine
  2. Sudden fever
  3. Night chills 
  4. Nausea and vomiting 
  5. Severe abdominal pain 
  6. Episodic back pain 
  7. Pain in the groin and testicles

Types of Nephrocalcinosis

Causes of Nephrocalcinosis

This medical condition can be due to the following disorders such as :

  • Family hypomagnesemia
  • Primary hyperoxaluria
  • Renal tubular acidosis (RTA)
  • Alport syndrome
  • Bartter syndrome
  • Medullary sponge kidney 
  • Kidney transplant rejection
  • Chronic glomerulonephritis 

Nephrocalcinosis can also be due to some other lifestyle causes such as:

  • Vitamin D toxicity
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Certain medications such as acetazolamide, triamterene
  • Hypercalcemia 
  • AIDS-related conditions 
  • Ethylene glycol toxicity 

Risk Factors of Nephrocalcinosis

The following are the risk factors of nephrocalcinosis: 

  1. Hyperoxaluria
  2. Chronic hypokalemic states 
  3. Increased urinary excretion of calcium and phosphates 
  4. Hypocitraturia
  5. Long term hypercalcemia 
  6. Long term hyperphosphatemia

Nephrocalcinosis Complications

The patients may suffer from the following health complications due to nephrocalcinosis: 

  1. Acute kidney failure
  2. Chronic kidney failure 
  3. Formation of stones in the kidneys and urinary tract
  4. Obstructive uropathy (acute or chronic) (unilateral and bilateral)



The prevention strategy of nephrocalcinosis is not concrete. Drinking plenty of water and getting early treatment is the only possible way to deal with nephrocalcinosis.



Nephrocalcinosis can be diagnosed with the help of symptoms of renal insufficiency as well as stone formations in the urinary tract. The following tests can be recommended by the specialist for the diagnostic process:

  • Abdominal CT scan
  • Kidney ultrasound 

Some other tests that can be suggested by the doctor are: 

  • Blood tests to check out the levels of calcium, phosphate, and uric acid
  • Urinalysis to assess the formation of crystals in the urinary tract
  • Urine collection to measure the acidity of urine due to the presence of calcium, sodium as well as oxalates

Treatment of Nephrocalcinosis | When to Consult a Doctor

For patients that are suffering from nephrocalcinosis, the doctor focuses on the prevention of calcium build-up in the kidneys. The remedies also involve regulating the already abnormal levels of calcium in the kidneys. In addition to calcium, the levels of oxalates, citrate, and phosphate are also controlled. From making dietary choices to the use of medicines, the treatment methods may vary from patient to patient.