Prospective study of nephrolithiasis occurrence in children receiving cefotriaxone

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Ceftriaxone is a commonly used antibiotic among the paediatric population. Various reports have associated high doses of Ceftriaxone with the development of nephrolithiasis; our aim was to test this association with a 5 day course of treatment.


Our study group consisted of 120 patients divided into two groups. The first group included 60 patients who underwent treatment with Ceftriaxone therapy that was started empirically and continued for 5 days at the dose of 80 mg/kg per day. The second group (60 patients) who received treatment with other antibiotics (other than Ceftriaxone), as recommended by hospital protocols. Patients with urinary tract infections (UTI) were excluded as UTI may be a predisposing cause for nephrolithiasis. Baseline and follow up after 5 days were done with; abdominal ultrasound, serum urea, creatinine, serum calcium, 24 h urinary calcium and urinary calcium/ creatinine ratio. Extended metabolic tests were done for cases that developed nephrolithiasis.


Five cases out of the 60 patients treated with Ceftriaxone developed calculi; that were small and were eliminated spontaneously in four cases at mean duration of 3 weeks. In these cases renal ultrasonography examinations were normal prior to treatment; and none of them had metabolic disturbances or risk factors leading to stone formation. By multiple regression analysis, only age was related to nephrolithiasis formation being higher in the group that has developed stones.


Only patients who underwent Ceftriaxone therapy have developed renal stones, even with a short course of therapy (5 days), and in the absence of a known predisposing cause for nephrolithiasis. We have thus concluded that Ceftriaxone by itself maybe a predisposing factor for nephrolithiasis


In this manuscript, the authors describe a clinical problem that may be noticed in children treated with Cefotriaxone. They found that Ceftriaxone therapy could cause nephrolithiasis even with a short course of therapy, and concluded that Ceftriaxone by itself maybe a predisposing factor for nephrolithiasis.

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