Cystinuria is a rare inherited renal stone disease. Mutations in two genes SLC3A1 and SLC7A9 underlie this condition, encoding proteins that facilitate dibasic amino acid exchange which are expressed in the gut and the proximal tubule of the kidney. Genetic studies now allow precise genotyping of patients who may have both autosomal dominant and autosomal recessive patterns of disease. The disorder is characterised by the urinary loss of cystine, lysine, ornithine, and arginine, and the insolubility of cystine gives rise to crystalluria and cysteine-containing renal stones. Although an inherited condition, it may present at any age. Clinical management combines lifestyle advice and preventative medical therapy. However, many patients require surgical interventions to remove problematic stones from the urinary tract. Preventative therapies include increased fluid intake, alkalinization of the urine, and the use of cystine-binding drugs, including penicillamine and tiopronin, which form soluble heterodimers with cystine.
Part of the book: Updates and Advances in Nephrolithiasis