Kidney stones can affect just about anyone at any age. In fact, according to the National Kidney Foundation, about one in every ten people report a kidney stone in their life. If the size of the stone is small, it may pass on its own; however, if the size of the stone is large, or its location is to be determined, a more extensive work-up is merited. The first investigation that a healthcare provider orders, warrants a visit to the x ray in islamabad. Radiopaque stones are caught on x-ray, while radiolucent types of stones may need another investigative modality.
What are the symptoms of kidney stones?
Kidney stones start with pain in the back; these sharp pains may radiate to the lower belly, groin or onto the sides. If the stone irritates the urethra, there can be a constant urge to urinate, or pain on urination. In case, the stone damages the ureter, the urine can be bloody—with brown or red blood in the urine.
What are the investigations for kidney stones?
If you land in the emergency room for unknown lumbar pain, your doctor can order some investigations to confirm the diagnosis of kidney stones. These can include:
Urine culture and examination: urine c/e is done to check for the presence of stone-forming minerals and crystals or to check for the lack of substances that prevent their formation. Urine sample is collected over a day or two and then sent for testing.
Blood test: blood tests are done to check which mineral(s) in the serum is raised causing the stone formation. For example, higher than normal ranges of calcium and uric acid result in kidney stones.
x-rays: low level of radiation are used in x-rays to form images. An abdominal x-ray is taken while the patient lies on the table or stands up. As mentioned before, the radiolucent stones show up in investigations like x-rays, and they help to mark the location of the stones in the urinary tract. However, very small stones do not show up in x-ray and may need another investigative modality.
Ct-scans: a computed tomography or CT is a more detailed type of x-ray in which the computer puts together all the slices to make more detailed images. The CT scan is much more useful during emergency situations to make fast diagnosis. Most commonly a plain CT scan without contrast is used to view the urinary tract stones.
In some cases, a contrast medium or dye is used to make the structures inside the urinary tract more visible. Whether or not a contrast is needed depends on the discretion of the healthcare provider as per the renal function tests (RFTS). A CT scan is done with the patient lying on a table that slides into a tunnel like machine. The CT scan is further interpreted by a radiologist to localize the position, size and location of a kidney stone. CT scan facilities are available at labs that also offer mri in Islamabad.