Kidney Ureteral Stones

Diagnosis

Diagnosis Kidney Ureteral Stones

The doctor does a series of tests to understand what causes your symptoms. This is called a diagnosis. First, the doctor or nurse will take your medical history and do a physical examination. Then, they will take images of your body and perform other tests if needed.

Imaging techniques

To locate your stone the doctor needs to take images of your internal organs. You will get an ultrasonography (also known as ultrasound), which uses high-frequency sounds to create an image. In addition to ultrasonography, you may need an x-ray of the urinary tract.

The doctor can see whether the stone causes an obstruction by checking if the urinary collecting system is enlarged (Fig. 1).

Another common method of diagnosis is a CT-scan (computed tomography). For stone disease a non-contrast-enhanced computed tomography (NCCT) is done. This scan can clearly show the size, shape, and thickness of the stone.

In some situations your doctor may decide to do a contrast-enhanced CT-scan or an intravenous urography. These images give additional information about your kidney function and your anatomy.

Stone analysis and other tests

In case of renal colic, your urine and blood are tested to see if you have an infection or kidney failure.

If your stone is expected to pass with urine, your doctor may recommend that you filter your urine to collect the stone. The doctor will analyse it in order to understand what type of stone you have. This information is important because it helps to select the best options for treatment and prevention.

If you have a high risk of forming more stones, you will get additional tests known as metabolic evaluation. These tests and the reasons for taking them are described in a separate section on Metabolic Evaluation for Kidney and Ureteral Stones.

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Fig. 1: The urinary tract.
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