Renal cystine calculus
John Tremearne (b.1844, d.1912)
Cystine calculi are kidney stones caused by a rare disorder called cystinuria. The disorder causes cystine - an amino acid that is found in digestive enzymes, in the cells of the immune system, in skeletal and connective tissues, skin, and hair - to build up in the urine. Cystine stones tend to reoccur and are typically larger than other kidney stones. This calculus was removed by surgeon John Tremearne from a 47 year old Ballarat man by suprapubic operation in 1882. The case was presented in a paper to the Medical Society of Victoria in July 1883 - as Tremearne considered it the largest stone of its kind ever removed from a patient. He measured it at 81.26 grams in weight, 6.35cms in length, and 4.45 cms in width. The calculus has been section lengthways into two halves. Several of those present at this meeting - Harry Brookes Allen amongst them - remarked upon the size and value of this calculus, and Dr T. M. Girdlestone suggested that such a specimen should be presented to the Society, or to the Medical School Museum. (See The Australian Medical Journal July 15th 1883, pge 299).