Alterations in renal stone risk factors after space flight

P. A. Whitson, R. A. Pietrzyk, C. Y.C. Pak, N. M. Cintron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Exposure to the microgravity environment of space produces a number of physiological changes of metabolic and environmental origin that could increase the potential for renal stone formation. Metabolic, environmental and physicochemical factors that influence renal stone risk potential were examined in 24-hour urine samples from astronauts 10 days before launch and on landing day to provide an immediate postflight assessment of these factors. In addition, comparisons were made between male and female crewmembers, and between crewmembers on missions of less than 6 days and those on 6 to 10-day missions. Results suggest that immediately after space flight the risk of calcium oxalate and uric acid stone formation is increased as a result of metabolic (hypercalciuria, hypocitraturia, pH) and environmental (lower urine volume) derangements, some of which could reflect residual effects of having been exposed to microgravity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)803-807
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • aerospace medicine
  • kidney calculi
  • space flight
  • urinary calculi

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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