Diagnosis of Kidney Stones

Diagnosis of renal stone disease involves a medical history, physical examination, laboratory evaluation, and imaging tests. The physician determines if the patient has a history of kidney stones, documents past medical conditions, and evaluates present symptoms. Physical examination may be difficult if the patient is experiencing severe pain and is unable to remain still. Lightly tapping on the kidney region often worsens the pain. Fever may indicate a urinary tract infection that requires antibiotics.

Laboratory tests include a urinalysis to detect the presence of blood (hematuria) and bacteria (bacteriuria) in the urine. Other tests include blood tests for creatinine (to evaluate kidney function), BUN and electrolytes (to detect dehydration), calcium (to detect hyperparathyroidism), and a complete blood count (CBC; to detect infection).

Publication Review By: Stephen W. Leslie, M.D., F.A.C.S., Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 09 Jun 1998

Last Modified: 24 Sep 2015