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Kidney Stones

Screening and Tests for Kidney Stones

In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures for kidney stones may include the following:

  • Intravenous pyelogram (IVP). A series of X-rays of the kidney, ureters, and bladder with the injection of a contrast dye into the vein—to detect tumors, abnormalities, kidney stones, or any obstructions, and to assess renal blood flow.
  • Computerized tomography (CT) scan. Combines special X-ray equipment with sophisticated computers to produce multiple images or pictures of the inside of the body. These cross-sectional images of the area being studied can then be examined on a computer monitor or printed.
  • Urinalysis. Laboratory examination of urine for various cells and chemicals, such as red blood cells, white blood cells, infection, or excessive protein.
  • Blood tests. Laboratory examination of the blood to detect substances that might promote stone formation.
  • Renal ultrasound. A non-invasive test in which a transducer is passed over the kidney producing sound waves which bounce off of the kidney, transmitting a picture of the organ on a video screen. The test is used to determine the size and shape of the kidney, and to detect a mass, kidney stone, cyst, or other obstruction in the kidney.