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Urinary Calculi in Laos

Joseph J. Westermeyer, MD
JAMA. 1971;217(1):82-83. doi:10.1001/jama.1971.03190010064031.
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To the Editor.—  Another country with endemic urinary stone disease can be added to the extensive list compiled by Prien (216:503, 1971). During two years in Laos (1965 to 1967), I had occasion to care for numerous cases of bladder stone. Boys outnumbered girls by three or four to one; in addition they presented much younger than the girls. Indeed, one male infant several months old had symptoms (frequency, tenesmus, hematuria) from the week of his birth. On the other hand, most preteenagers with stone were girls.The stones, moderately large in most cases, had caused symptoms for several months to a few years. Patients suffered cachexia by the time they arrived at the hospital, after various indigenous therapies already had been exhausted. Recovery after removal of the stone proceeded rapidly, however.Bladder stone occurs among a variety of ethnic groups in Laos, but especially among mountaineers (Meo, Khamu,


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