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Kidney and Ureteral Stones Diagnosis

Your doctor may suspect kidney or ureteral stones based on your symptoms alone; however, tests are usually required to make an official diagnosis. Diagnostic tests for kidney and ureteral stones include:

  • Imaging tests - X-rays can help diagnose some stones, but they may miss smaller stones. CT scans of the urinary tract are often used to help diagnose kidney and ureteral stones. An ultrasound can sometimes help diagnose stones as well.
  • Blood tests - Blood tests cannot tell whether or not you have stones, but they can reveal high levels of calcium and uric acid in the blood, which can aid in diagnosis. Blood tests can also help your doctor monitor how healthy your kidneys are.
  • Urine tests - Urine tests can help find stone-forming particles in your urine and may also reveal if you have too few substances that help prevent stones.

Testing for type of stones

Your doctor may order a stone analysis if you already know you have kidney or ureteral stones. For this test, you will have to urinate through a device with a strainer that can catch stones so they can be analyzed in a lab. Lab analysis will help your doctor know what type of stones you have so the best treatment can be offered.

Learn more about kidney stones