Image of the month

Spooky urolith centers

This month we are focusing on the interesting, strange and scary things we have found in the center of uroliths.

  • Suture was identified in approximately 10% of recurrent stones. When closing the bladder after a cystotomy, minimize placing suture in the bladder lumen to reduce its contribution to stone recurrence.  Image A 
  • Plant awns/material are common in the western United States and sometimes enter the bladder and can become encrusted with mineral.  Image B
  • Toothpick - a migrating toothpick could have been swallowed by the pet because it held a tasty Halloween treat.  In this case, the toothpick pierced the intestine, traveled to the bladder and initiated stone formation.  Image C
  • Fleas, louse, and other insects may climb up the urethra and become entombed in stones.  Image D
4 uroliths with different foreign body nidus, referenced above as image a-d

What do all of these spooky invaders have in common?  

Heterogeneous nucleation: the process where crystallization is enhanced by initiating over foreign-preformed surfaces.

What’s in the center of your uroliths?  

For complete and accurate urolith analysis – please submit the entire urolith.

See other images of the month