Ionic and macromolecular modifiers of crystallization of calcium salts in urine
Urine is said to contain many substances which have the ability to modify the rate of crystallization of calcium salts, and numerous studies have been carried out to identify these modifiers and to establish their role in the formation of calcium-containing urinary stones (1–8). However, there are many apparently confusing and conflicting data on this subject. Part of the problem is due to the lack of a clear definition of what is meant by a modifier of crystallization; part is due to the unwarranted generalisation that what modifies the crystallization of one salt must modify that of another; part is due to the lack of definition of which particular crystallization processes are being influenced by a given modifier; and part is due to the great variety of test systems and conditions employed in the evaluation of the importance of a given modifier. Modifiers of crystallization are of two basic types; those which inhibit the rate of crystallization of a given salt and those which enhance or promote it.
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