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Ammonium Urate Crystals

The presence of ammonium urate crystals is generally of little clinical significance. They are found in acidic urine (pH less than 6.5). The formation of ammonium urate crystals can be caused by a combination of factors including decreased urine volume or a condition that alkalinizes (increases the pH of) urine, such as a vegetarian diet, urinary tract infection or some medications. They are also found in individuals who have gout and during some chemotherapy treatments.

In individuals who have kidney stones, the repeated presence of ammonium urate crystals in urine may indicate, if applicable, the probable nature of the stones. It should be noted, however, that most patients with ammonium urate crystals will never form stones.

Term of the Week

Hot zone

A hot zone is a section of a facility (sometimes an entire facility or even a city district) where there is a high risk of contamination by patients with an infectious disease. All individuals entering a hot zone must respect appropriate protective measures. By analogy, “cold zone” and “warm zone” are used to refer to areas where there is no infected individual or only individuals suspected of having an infection.