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Amorphous Crystals

Amorphous crystals are by definition crystals with no identifiable characteristic shape. Amorphous crystals observed at an acid pH (less than 6) are amorphous urate crystals. At a pH greater than 7, they are amorphous phosphate crystals. Between pH 6 and pH 7, they become very difficult to distinguish.

The presence of amorphous crystals is generally of little clinical significance. Their formation is caused by a combination of factors, including decreased urine volume combined with changes in urine pH and often the presence of large quantities of uric acid (meat consumption), or calcium (dairy products) in the diet.

Term of the Week

Creatine Kinase MM (CK-MM)

CK (creatine kinase) is an enzyme (protein) found in several tissues, including muscles and the heart. Depending on the tissue, different forms of CK are present: CK-MM is primarily present in skeletal muscles, CK-MB represents 30% of CK from the heart, while CK-BB comes from the brain and smooth muscle, such as the intestinal walls. Atypical forms of CK (macro CK1 and macro CK2) can also be present. CK electrophoresis is most useful when muscular or cardiac disease does not seem to be responsible for the increased level of total CK.