Randomized double-blind study of potassium citrate in idiopathic hypocitraturic calcium nephrolithiasis

P. Barcelo, O. Wuhl, E. Servitge, A. Rousaud, C. Y C Pak

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318 Scopus citations


In an attempt to document the efficacy of potassium citrate in stone formation, 57 patients with active lithiasis (2 or more stones during the preceding 2 years) and hypocitraturia were randomly allocated into 2 groups, with 1 group taking 30 to 60 mEq. potassium citrate daily in wax matrix tablet formation and the other group receiving placebo. In 18 patients receiving potassium citrate for 3 years stone formation significantly declined after treatment from 1.2 ± 0.6 to 0.1 ± 0.2 per patient year (p <0.0001), in 13 patients (72%) the disease was in remission and all patients showed a reduced stone formation rate individually. In contrast, 20 patients taking placebo medication for 3 years showed no significant change in stone formation rate (1.1 ± 0.4 to 1.1 ± 0.3 per patient year) and in only 4 patients (20%) was the disease in remission. The stone formation rate during potassium citrate treatment was significantly lower than during the placebo treatment (0.1 ± 0.2 versus 1.1 ± 0.3 per patient year, p <0.001). Potassium citrate therapy caused a significant increase in urinary citrate, pH and potassium, whereas placebo did not. Adverse reactions to potassium citrate were mild causing only 2 patients in the potassium citrate group and 1 in the placebo group to withdraw from the study. In summary, our randomized trial showed the efficacy of potassium citrate in preventing new stone formation in idiopathic hypocitraturic calcium nephrolithiasis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1761-1764
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1993


  • calcium
  • calculi
  • potassium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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