Dr. Westropp has joined up with Drs. Stoller and Chi as she investigates randall plaques in the kidneys and analysis of calcified nanaoparticles in the urine and blood in cats and dog with calcium oxalate urolithiasis. Her expertise in this subject and utilizing techniques on her animal model add depth to the non-clinical studies being conducted by the Stoller-Chi research team.
One focus of Dr. Westropp's reserach group is to assess the connection between obesity and kidney stone disease. Obesity is one of the most strongly associated known risk factors for developing urinary stone disease in human beings. As body mass index (BMI) increases, risk for kidney stones increases in a linear fashion. Unlike many other animal models used to investigate urolithiasis, calcium oxalate (CaOx) urolithiasis occurs naturally in the cat and is the most common urolith submitted to our laboratory from this species. There are also many similarities between cats and humans related to lipid metabolism and obesity, which are factors influencing the lithogenic potential of people. She is looking at novel tools to compare the urinary environment of lean, obese, and dsylipidemic cats. Our feline model allows assessment of the impact of dyslipidemia on risk factors for urolithiasis both with and without obesity. Furthermore, CNP studies may provide a cost-effective, minimally invasive diagnostic tool that can help predict lithogenicity potential in both cats and humans; this aspect of monitoring is currently lacking yet is sorely needed to improve therapeutics in both species.
Read more about Dr. Westropp and her research on her UC Davis Profile.