Elemental profile of urolithiasis at a tertiary hospital: a four-year retrospective study

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AJM Muntaka
EMT Yenli
AS Seidu
AR Gyasi


Background: Urolithiasis is a fairly common disease presenting to urology clinics worldwide. It affects all age groups and genders and is estimated to have a prevalence of between 4% and 20%, depending on the geographical location and socioeconomic context. The peak age for urolithiasis, as reported by some studies, is between 30 and 50 years with a male preponderance. Commonly identified chemical substances include calcium oxalate, calcium phosphate, uric acid, cystine, and triple phosphate. An understanding of the chemical composition of urinary stones in a particular locality will influence the recommendations for the prevention and treatment of these stones.

Objective: To evaluate the elemental profile (chemical composition) of urinary calculi and the sociodemographic characteristics of patients with urinary calculi seeking care at the Tamale Teaching Hospital.

Materials and methods: This was a retrospective study to analyse urinary stones retrieved from patients from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2019. Data was entered into Microsoft Excel 2016, edited to exclude errors and reorganised for efficient analysis. Data analysis was done using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 23 and logistic regression was used to determine the factors significant for stone formation. A p-value < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Results: Calcium-containing stones form the majority of urinary stones (56.2%), followed by ammonium urate (12.3%), and uric acid (11.1%). Magnesium ammonium phosphate, xanthine, and cystine constituted two (1.2%) each. Other constituents of the urinary stones, mainly proteins, made up 16.7%. A majority of the patients were from the upper-east (42%) and northern regions (40%). Males were the majority of our patients (92.7%).

Conclusion: Calcium-containing stones are the most common urinary stones in northern Ghana. We recommend adequate fluid intake in northern Ghana, especially the north-eastern part, to cope with the hot climatic conditions.

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Original Research
Author Biographies

AJM Muntaka, University for Development Studies

Department of Surgery, School of Medicine, University for Development Studies, Ghana

EMT Yenli, University for Development Studies

Department of Surgery, School of Medicine, University for Development Studies, Ghana

AS Seidu, Tamale Teaching Hospital

Department of Surgery, Tamale Teaching Hospital, Ghana

AR Gyasi, Tamale Teaching Hospital

Department of Laboratory Sciences, Tamale Teaching Hospital, Ghana