|Values are valid only on day of printing.|
Oxalate is an end product of glyoxalate and glycerate metabolism. Humans have no enzyme capable of degrading oxalate, so it must be eliminated by the kidney.
In tubular fluid, oxalate can combine with calcium to form calcium oxalate stones. In addition, high concentrations of oxalate may be toxic for renal cells.
Increased urinary oxalate excretion results from inherited enzyme deficiencies (primary hyperoxaluria), gastrointestinal disorders associated with fat malabsorption (secondary hyperoxaluria), or increased oral intake of oxalate-rich foods or vitamin C.
Since increased urinary oxalate excretion promotes calcium oxalate stone formation, various strategies are employed to lower oxalate excretion.
Monitoring therapy for kidney stones
Identifying increased urinary oxalate as a risk factor for stone formation
Diagnosis of primary or secondary hyperoxaluria
A timed 24-hour urine collection is the preferred specimen for measuring and interpreting this urinary analyte. Random collections normalized to urinary creatinine may be of some clinical use in patients who cannot collect a 24-hour specimen, typically small children. Therefore, this random test is offered for children <16 years old.
An elevated urine oxalate (>0.46 mmol/day) may suggest disease states such as secondary hyperoxaluria (fat malabsorption), primary hyperoxaluria (alanine glyoxalate transferase enzyme deficiency, glyceric dehydrogenase deficiency), idiopathic hyperoxaluria, or excess dietary oxalate or vitamin C intake.
In stone-forming patients high urinary oxalate values, sometimes even in the upper limit of the normal range, are treated to reduce the risk of stone formation.
The urinary oxalate creatinine ratio varies widely in young children from <0.35 mmol/mL at birth to <0.15 mmol/mL at 1 year to <0.10 mmol/mL at 10 years and <0.05 mmol/mL at 20 years of age (see table below).(1)
Ingestion of ascorbic acid (>2 g/day) may falsely elevate the measured urinary oxalate excretion.
Do not collect in metal-capped containers.
No established reference values
1. Matos V, Van Melle G, Werner D et al: Urinary oxalate and urate to creatinine ratios in a healthy pediatric population. Am J Kidney Dis 1999;34:e1
2. Wilson DM, Liedtke RR: Modified enzyme-based colorimetric assay of urinary and plasma oxalate with improved sensitivity and no ascorbate interference: reference values and sample handling procedures. Clin Chem 1991;37:1229-1235