Medullary nephrocalcinosis is a term used to describe diffuse calcium deposits within the kidney tissue. It has a variety of causes, and it will be important for you to meet with your doctor
to discuss this condition and to test for what the underlying cause of your calcium deposits may be.
The medulla of the kidney is the tissue closer to the center (and the kidney ducts) of the organ, and it is surrounded by another layer of tissue called the cortex. As the name of the condition suggests, medullary nephrocalcinosis is accumulation of calcium crystals within this medulla portion of the kidney. In terms of what can cause this, the main cause is any condition that increases the amount of calcium in your blood, which then travels to your kidney. A few potential conditions in this class include hyperparathyroidism (this is when the parathyroid gland is producing too much parathyroid hormone, which increases calcium levels in the blood), and conversely hypoparathyroidism can also cause this condition. A few other rare causes of medullary nephrocalcinosis include sarcoidosis, hypervitaminosis D (too much vitamin D ingestion), renal tubular acidosis (a group of kidney disorders that alter the absorption and secretion of certain compounds in the kidney), hyperoxaluria (too much oxalate absorption in the gut), certain genetic conditions, and immobilization, which causes bone resorption and release of calcium into the blood stream. Lupus is not a cause of medullary nephrocalcinosis. However, as you can see, there are a number of causes of medullary nephrocalcinosis, and in order to treat this condition, the underlying cause must be treated. Please see your doctor to have your blood calcium level, vitamin D level, urine studies, and parathyroid hormone level checked.
In terms of the severity of this condition, many people can go their whole lives without having any problems from it. On the other hand, others can develop recurrent kidney stones
or even kidney failure. It all depends on the underlying cause, and that is why it is so important for you to make an appointment to see your doctor and determine the cause of your nephrocalcinosis.