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Nephrolithiasis associated with ceftriaxone therapy: a prospective study in 51 children.

BACKGROUND: Ceftriaxone, a third generation cephalosporin, is widely used for treating infection during childhood. The kidneys eliminate approximately 33-67% of this agent, and the remainder is eliminated via the biliary system. Ceftriaxone may bind with calcium ions and form insoluble precipitate leading to biliary pseudolithiasis. The aim of this study was to assess whether ceftriaxone associated nephrolithiasis develops by the same mechanism, and whether this condition is dose related.

METHODS: The study involved 51 children with various infections. Of these, 24 were hospitalized with severe infection and received 100 mg/kg/day ceftriaxone divided into two equal intravenous doses. The other 27 patients received a single daily intramuscular injection of 50 mg/kg/day. Serum and urine parameters were evaluated before and after treatment, and abdominal ultrasonographic examinations were also carried out before and after treatment.

RESULTS: Serum urea, creatinine, and calcium levels were normal in all patients before and after treatment. Post-treatment ultrasound identified nephrolithiasis in four (7.8%) of the 51 subjects. The stones were all of small size (2 mm). Comparison of the groups with and without nephrolithiasis revealed no significant differences with respect to age, sex distribution, duration of treatment, or dose/route of administration of ceftriaxone. The renal stones disappeared spontaneously in three of the four cases, but were still present in one patient 7 months after ceftriaxone treatment.

CONCLUSIONS: Conclusions: The study showed that children taking a 7 day course of normal or high dose ceftriaxone may develop small sized asymptomatic renal stones. The overall incidence of nephrolithiasis in this study was 7.8%.

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