Urolithiasis: Etiology * Diagnosis

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The handbook on lithiasis edited by Kurt Boshamer and originally brought out in 1961 was for more than two decades the standard work in this field for researchers and clinicians alike. However, our knowl- edge of urolithiasis has been increased so enormously - by worldwide interdisciplinary research into the genesis of urinary calculi, by the new treatment possibilities opened up principally by advances in tech- nology, and by the success achieved in prevention of recurrence - that it is almost impossible to take in all the relevant journal articles, books chapters, monographs, and proceedings. It was therefore our aim in this, the first of two independent vol- umes, to provide a concise but comprehensive summary of current knowledge concerning the morphology and composition of calculi, epidemiology, pathogenesis, and diagnostic techniques. The most re- cent developments are described, and nothing in the world literature is ignored. A second volume will cover medical therapy, operative, in- strumental and noninvasive treatment, and prophylaxis. To have any chance of success, treatment and prophylaxis must be based on knowledge of calculus formation. Study of the composition of calculi has yielded important information regarding the conditions for formation, and this underlines once again the great value of analy- sis of urinary concretions. Evaluation of epidemiological data has im- portant consequences for the individual patient.