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Cystine Crystals

Cystine crystals are not found in the urine of normal individuals. The presence of cystine crystals almost always indicates “cystinuria,” a disease affecting the metabolism of three of the 20 amino acids that make up proteins. A reabsorption problem of these three amino acids (arginine, lysine and ornithine) causes the overproduction of cystine, a very insoluble product that tends to form crystals in the urine and, more importantly, causes the repeated formation of cystine 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.