(Background) Cystinuria is an autosomal recessive disorder, and primary manifestation is the repeated formation of cystine calculi. Little information is available regarding clinical course of pediatric cystinuria having followed into adulthood. We report our experience with the management and the clinical course on cystinuria in children, who have been followed up for relatively long time. (Materials and Methods) We retrospectively reviewed the records of all pediatric patients with cystinuria in whom urolithiasis was treated from 1970 to 1996. (Results)A total of 15 pediatric patients with cystine calculi (9 boys, 6 girls) were treated in our hospital. Average age at diagnosis was 3 years 4 months old. Mean follow-up was 104 months. Stone location was upper urinary tract in 11 cases, bladder in 3 cases and both upper urinary tract and bladder in 1 case. Medical treatments including hydration, urine alkalization and dissolution therapy were performed in all patients. In three cases whose urinary cystine level ranged from 138 to 326 mg/gCr, cystine calculi were disappeared by medical therapy alone. In one of 3 cases vesicoureteral reflux was identified. Side effects were noticed in 30.0% of patients with tiopronin and in 85.7% of those with D-penicillamine, especially in 1 case with tiopronin nephrotic syndrome being noticed. Surgical procedures were performed in 13 patients (lithotomy: 17 calculi, endourology: 7 calculi and ESWL: 7 calculi). The stone free rate was 100% with lithotomy, 80 to 100% with endourology and 43% with ESWL at an average of 5.9 procedures. No complications were recognized after the surgical treatments. The stone events of 15 patients ranged from 0 to 1.5 (average 0.55). In all six patients followed up over the age of 20 years, stone recurrences were observed exclusively between 17 and 20 years of age. (Conclusion) Dissolution therapy is more effective for cystinuric patients in whom urinary cystine excretion is less than 330 mg/gCr. For those cases with low urinary cystine level it is necessary to evaluate structural abnormalities of the urinary tract to avoid stone recurrence. ESWL and endourology should be tried for pediatric cystinuria except for neonates and infants, considering its safety. The patients and their parents must have adequate knowledge about the disease itself and its management. Prevention of cystine calculi recurrences depends on patient compliance to the therapeutic regimens necessitating close follow up according to the clinical conditions, especially for those in pubertic or postpubertic age.
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