Nephrocalcinosis refers to increased calcium content of the kidneys. This term usually applies to a generalized increase in renal calcium content, as opposed to a localized increase that is observed in calcified renal infarct or caseating renal tuberculosis. Nephrocalcinosis can be divided into 3 categories based on the different presentations and clinical effects, as follows: * Chemical nephrocalcinosis: This implies an increased concentration of calcium within renal cells, chiefly the tubular epithelium, causing an adverse effect on renal structure and function. * Microscopic nephrocalcinosis: This refers to calcium precipitates in crystalline form as oxalate and/or phosphate, but it is only evident microscopically. * Macroscopic nephrocalcinosis: Large areas of calcification are observed on visual or radiologic examination without magnification. A certain degree of overlap exists among these despite the differing classification.
The list of signs and symptoms mentioned in various sources for Nephrocalcinosis includes the 13 symptoms listed below: Symptoms similar to symptoms of nephritis Calcium deposits in the kidney Impaired kidney function Asymptomatic in early stages Calcium salt deposits in kidneys Increased urination Increased thirst Proteinuria Renal glycosuria Hypertension Acute pyelonephritis Renal colic Blood in urine Note that Nephrocalcinosis symptoms usually refers to various symptoms known to a patient, but the phrase Nephrocalcinosis signs may refer to those signs only noticable by a doctor.
Causes of cortical nephrocalcinosis Acute cortical necrosis. May be caused by: Placenta abruptio Placenta previa Septic abortion Transfusion reactions Burns Snake bite Severe dehydration Shock Severe heart failure Abdominal aortic surgery Chronic glomerulonephritis Alport syndrome Prolonged hypercalcemia and/or hypercalciuria Renal transplant rejection Sickle cell disease (rare) Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) deficiency (rare)  Causes of medullary nephrocalcinosis Medullary sponge kidney Hyperparathyroidism Renal tubular acidosis (specifically distal RTA) Renal tuberculosis Renal papillary necrosis Hyperoxaluria And other causes of hypercalcemia (and thus hypercalciuria) Immobilization (leading thypercalcemia and hypercalciuria) Milk-alkali syndrome Hypervitaminosis D Sarcoidosis
General investigation of nephrocalcinosis aims to assess the function of the kidneys as well as detect complications such as urinary tract infection and renal stone formation. This may require anumber of bloods tests to be taken.