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Rapid determination of urinary stone formation risk

Novel analyser presented by Bonn scientists at MEDICA

Scientists at Bonn University, in co-operation with NTTF and Theisen, have developed a novel appliance for rapid and accurate determination of the actual crystal formation risk in a patient. They are presenting their compact and ergonomic analyser in exhibition hall 3, stall C92 (Forschungsland NRW) at the international medical trade fare MEDICA in Düsseldorf from 19th to 22nd of November 2003. They are also looking for a suitable partner in industry for production and global marketing of the analyser.

Until now, doctors determine from the patient's urine sample a number of biochemical values to estimate stone formation risk - a costly and inaccurate method as not all risk factors are known. "Therefore, we started a new approach," explains Dr Norbert Laube, director of the Unit of Experimental Urology of the Department of Urology at Bonn University: "In our test, the individual factors are not necessary. We measure experimentally for any risk factor by cultivating crystals directly in the untreated urine sample. The easier we succeed, the higher the risk of new stone formation in the patient."

The analyser requires only two measuring parameters for determination of the BONN-Risk-Index, which establishes the current stone formation risk in the patient. This rapid, accurate and cost-effective procedure allows the doctor to individually control or optimise diet or prescribed medication. The BONN-Risk-Index was developed by scientists at the Department of Urology, Bonn University. It is an internationally recognised method for determination of stone formation risk.

Approximately five percent of all Germans will suffer at least once in their life time from the painful condition of urolithiasis and the tendency is rising. Urolithiasis is caused by small crystals which form inside the kidneys and which develop into larger "stones" over time. Once these crystals break free and move through the ureter into the bladder, dramatic symptoms ensue: unbearable pain, sanguinous urine and nausea. In many cases, urolithiasis develops into a chronic condition. However, the risk of recurrent stone formation may be drastically reduced by a change of diet and/or medication.

Dr. Norbert Laube
Department for Experimental Urology, University of Bonn
Phone: +49 (0)228/287-9106
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The new analyser only takes a few minutes to determine the patient’s crystal formation risk

Photo: Uni Bonn

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