Kinetics of calcium oxalate crystal formation in urine
Crystal formation reflects the entire composition of the surrounding solution. In case of urolithiasis, induced crystal formation in native urine has led to the development of the Bonn-Risk-Index (BRI), a valuable tool to quantify an individual's risk of calcium oxalate urolithiasis. If the progression of a disease is associated with characteristic changes in the activities of urinary components, this leads to an altered urinary crystallisation capacity. Therefore, the results of induced urinary crystal formation can be used to detect and monitor any disease linked to the altered urinary composition. Since crystal formation inherently takes into account the entire urinary composition, the influence of the disease on individual urinary parameters does not have to be known in order to monitor the consequent pathologic alterations. In this paper, we review the background of urinary crystal formation analysis and describe its established application in urolithiasis monitoring as well as potential further fields of clinical application.