World J Urol. 2022 Jun 11. doi: 10.1007/s00345-022-04059-3. Online ahead of print.
PURPOSE: Uric acid renal lithiasis has a high prevalence and a high rate of recurrence. Removal of uric acid stones can be achieved by several surgical techniques (extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy, endoscopy, laparoscopy, open surgery). These stones can also be eliminated by dissolution within the kidneys, because the solubility of uric acid is much greater when the pH is above 6. At present, N-acetylcysteine with a urinary basifying agent is the only treatment proposed to increase the dissolution of uric acid stones. In this paper, we compare the effect of theobromine and N-acetylcysteine on the in vitro dissolution of uric acid calculi in artificial urine at pH 6.5.
METHODS: The dissolution of uric acid renal calculi was performed in a temperature-controlled (37 °C) chamber. A peristaltic pump was used to pass 750 mL of synthetic urine (pH 6.5) through a capsule every 24 h. Stone dissolution was evaluated by measuring the change in weight before and after each experiment.
RESULTS: N-acetylcysteine increased the dissolution of uric acid calculi, but the effect was not statistically significant. Theobromine significantly increased the dissolution of uric acid calculi. Both substances together had the same effect as theobromine alone. The addition of theobromine to a basifying therapy that uses citrate and/or bicarbonate is a potential new strategy for the oral chemolysis of uric acid stones.
CONCLUSION: Theobromine may prevent the formation of new stones and increase the dissolution of existing stones.