How can We Diagnose Kidney Stones?
The doctor may suspect kidney stones if there is severe abdominal or back pain with no other likely cause. Sometimes the pattern of pain over time is helpful in the diagnosis. The pain may move from the upper to the lower abdomen within a few hours. As the stone moves lower, the pain may be felt in the genitals, especially the testicles in men and the labia in women.
Kidney stones can be seen on:
- X-ray of the abdomen- However, it must be noted that not all kidney stones show up on regular x-rays
- Intravenous pyelogram (IVP) - Contrast is injected into a vein, and the contrast becomes concentrated by the kidneys. The IVP gives a helpful picture of the urinary system, including both kidneys. A stone that does not show up on a regular x-ray may be seen on an IVP x-ray
- Abdominal CT scan
- Abdominal MRI
- Abdominal USG
Following laboratory tests may be advised:
- Blood test - Kidney function tests, serum calcium level, serum phosphorus level, uric acid and electrolyte levels
- Urine test - To check crystals and determine the presence of red blood cells
- Examination of the stone - To determine its type