What Tests Are Done to Diagnose Kidney Stones?
Urology Of Greater Atlanta
The team at Urology of Greater Atlanta in Sandy Springs, GA, provides thorough exams and diagnostic testing to identify and locate kidney stones.
After reviewing your symptoms and medical and family history, your doctor completes a physical exam and takes blood and urine samples for testing. The team also uses diagnostic imaging studies, including CT scans, X-ray (KUB), and ultrasound, to gather more information about your condition.
Let’s look closer at these diagnostic methods.
What Are The Symptoms of Kidney Stones?
Kidney stones are usually painless and undetectable as they grow. However, when the kidney stone detaches from the inner kidney wall it can cause severe pain in the lower back.
It can continue to cause discomfort and pain as it travels through the urinary tract. As you go through the stages of passing the kidney stone, you may also experience the following symptoms:
- Increased urge to urinate
- Urinating in small amounts
- Pain while urinating
- Burning whilst urinating
- Fever and chills
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sharp pain in the back and side below the ribs
- Blood in your urine
- Cloudy or smelly urine
Tests for Detecting Kidney Stones
Urinalysis is when a health care professional analyzes your urine sample. Urinalysis will detect if there is any blood in your urine or minerals that can cause the different types of kidney stones to grow.
It can detect where you have calcium stones (both calcium phosphate stones and calcium oxalate stones), struvite stones (caused by urinary tract infections), or cystine stones.
It can also analyze sodium levels in urine, as high levels increase urine calcium levels. It also shows a lack of certain substances in your urine that prevent stones from forming
A blood test can show your doctor if there’s too much uric acid or calcium in your blood. It will also tell your doctor if you have an infection.
Ultrasound for Kidney Stones
Using ultrasound to diagnose kidney stones is a quick, safe and easy procedure. It uses sound waves to create images and does not involve radiation.
An ultrasound usually provides enough evidence for a kidney stone diagnosis. However, if the images are not clear, we may suggest a computer tomography (CT) scan.
Computed Tomography (CT) Scan for Kidney Stones
A CT scan is generally used to detect tiny pieces of kidney stones that other imaging tests might miss. A CT scan uses x-ray beams from different angles to generate an image.
This results in a three-dimensional image which is easier to help the team diagnose kidney stones.
X-Ray for Kidney Stones
X-rays are not used as much as CT scans because they can miss small kidney stones. It may, however, be used to detect large kidney stones or the presence of many stones.
Schedule an Appointment With The Team At Urology of Greater Atlanta Today
If you are experiencing the pain of having a kidney stone, then a quick diagnosis can help you on the road to recovery and feeling better faster.
Call the team at Urology of Greater Atlanta at Sandy Springs, GA, or request an appointment online today if you’re concerned about kidney stones or have any urinary abnormalities or pain.