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Doctor insights on: How Can A Ct Scan Tell If You Have A Kidney Stone Or Cancer Or Something Else

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How can a CT scan tell if you have a kidney stone or cancer or something else?

How can a CT scan tell if you have a kidney stone or cancer or something else?

It shows the kidney: The ct scan that is typically done to look for kidney stones is done without any intravenous contrast. Almost all stones show up easily on ct scan. Renal masses typically show on a non-contrasted ct but they may not be able to tell if it is a cancer or not. The ct also shows other organs in the abdomen and a mass or cancer may be visible on the study. ...Read more

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Dr. Barry Rosen
4,298 doctors shared insights

Cancer (Definition)

Cancer is a group of diseases that is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth leading to invasion of surrounding tissues that spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can begin anywhere in the body and is usually related to one or more genetic mutations that allow normal cells to become malignant by interfering with internal cellular control mechanisms, such as programmed cell death or by preventing ...Read more


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Can a CT scan radiation cause cancer in future? Done ct scan due to kidney stones. I am 52 male. Please reply.

Can a CT scan radiation cause cancer in future? Done ct scan due to kidney stones. I am 52 male. Please reply.

Don't worry!: The risk of getting cancer from radiation exposure to one CT scan is infinitesimally small. You get exposed to more radiation by living your routine life every day. But it's good to remember that radiation dose accumulates, so the more CT scans you have over your life, the higher the risk. It's always a good idea to keep track of how many tests you are having, and to remind your doctor! ...Read more

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Could bladder cancer show up on CT scan done for kidney stones? Came back clear.Also had l-spine xray that was clear for any abnormalities.

Could bladder cancer show up on CT scan done for kidney stones? Came back clear.Also had l-spine xray that was clear for any abnormalities.

Bladder cancer: Bladder cancer typically cannot be detected reliably by any means other than cystoscopy. The indications for cystoscopy mainly are related to blood in the urine in people at risk. ...Read more

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Can I tell if kidney stone has transited from ureter to bladder by change in symptoms?CT scan shows a 4mm stone 1.5 CM from bladder.

Can I tell if kidney stone has transited from ureter to bladder by change in symptoms?CT scan shows a 4mm stone 1.5 CM from bladder.

See answer: The only true accurate means of determining whether a ureteral calculus has passed is to retrieve it by straining your urine. The chance of spontaneous passage of a 4mm stone ~50-60%. Onset of symptoms of urinary urgency, frequency, burning, voiding small volumes usually indicates the stone is at the UVJ (ureter meets bladder). The absence or disappearance of pain does not guarantee stone passage. ...Read more

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On a CT scan is it easy to tell a 10mm kidney stone from a tumor. Could they be mistaken?

On a CT scan is it easy to tell a 10mm kidney stone from a tumor. Could they be mistaken?

Not usually: Bobcat: a kidney stone shows up on the ct scan as a bright white spot and the density is measured to insure that it is a calcium deposit/stone. A mass/tumor can have calcifications in it, but the mass would typically be seen and not just the calcium. It may also matter whether you ct was done with and without contrast injection to be sure the stone is not obstructing the urinary tract. ...Read more

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Could you tell if you had pkd or other kidney problems with a CT scan or ultrasound?Have had same kidney stone for years and I thought theycane out

Could you tell if you had pkd or other kidney problems with a CT scan or ultrasound?Have had same kidney stone for years and I thought theycane out

Some (larger): kidney stones do not "come out" or are a part of the kidney's structure, CT or ULTRASOUND is/are good tests to disclose kidney STONES but are not generally sufficient to study kidney disease which requires blood/urine tests and sometimes renal BIOPSY! Hope this is helpfu Dr Z ...Read more

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If I already know I have a kidney stone is it necessary to have a CT scan?

If I already know I have a kidney stone is it necessary to have a CT scan?

Possibly: If you know you have a kidney stone, a ct scan is not necessary unless symptoms develop. If the person remians asymptomatic, periodic imaging with ultrasound or other x-rays are adequate. However, small stones may be missed on these studies and a ct scan may be required to locate the stone. ...Read more

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Should i go to e.R.? Kidney stone I have a kidney stone 2mm in size. I went to the e.R for pain about 2 months ago and they gave me a CT scan and then diagnosed me with kidney infection. I went to a follow up with my dr. And she said i had a kidney stone

Should i go to e.R.? Kidney stone I have a kidney stone 2mm in size. I went to the e.R for pain about 2 months ago and they gave me a CT scan and then diagnosed me with kidney infection. I went to a follow up with my dr. And she said i had a kidney stone

A : A 2mm stone will generally pass without the need for intervention but it may also have grown in size over 2 months and now may not pass, or you could have developed new ones. You should see your doctor and get a repeat ct scan to reevaluate the size and location. If you can't get to your doctor, and you are in pain go to the emergency department. ...Read more

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I had a CT scan they found a very small kidney stone in my bladder. Could that be anything else?

I had a CT scan they found a very small kidney stone in my bladder. Could that be anything else?

Stones: Finding a small kidney stone in the "bladder" suggests that the stone has already passed into the bladder and will easily pass out in the urine flow. ...Read more

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Is it possible to see kidney stone with MRI or CT scan?

Is it possible to see kidney stone with MRI or CT scan?

Yes: Noncontrast ct is the most sensitive and specific noninvasive exam for finding kidney stones. Mri (more specifically mr urogram) may find them, as well, but it is less common to order this test. ...Read more

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I have back pain, had CT scan, they sure it was kidney stone but couldn't see it, no pain after but today i do?

Follow up: There are often residual changes in the urinary tract soon after a stone passes. However, they should normalize in a few days or weeks. If you still have back pain, that usually means there are other reasons, that you need to discuss with your doctor. ...Read more

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Went to the ER Friday night and they did a CT scan and said I am passing a kidney stone, how long is it usually before it passes?

Went to the ER Friday night and they did a CT scan and said I am passing a kidney stone, how long is it usually before it passes?

Variable: Days or weeks. Size, location are relevant to passing. Some require intervention by lithotripsy, or surgery if nit passing with pain control and fluids. Also need to try to determine type, cause and prevention!! ...Read more

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I have a CT scan with a 3mm kidney stone, unobstructive causing considerable pain for over 3 weeks and have not seen a urologist. What should I do?

I have a CT scan with a 3mm kidney stone, unobstructive causing considerable pain for over 3 weeks and have not seen a urologist. What should I do?

Stones: A few pertinent facts about kidney stones: 1. Stones 5mm or less have a 66 to 85% chance of spontaneous passage. 2. Non-obstructing calculi do not cause pain. 3. Stones can move in and out of obstructing positions. 4. A urologist can be helpful even if the stone is likely to pass spontaneously, by appropriately medicating pain and prescribing a medication that may help some stones to pass. ...Read more

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I had a CT scan for pain near left kidney. Told there is a hypodense lesion of 1.5cm and a hyperdense lesion of .5cm. Could this be from kidney stone?

I had a CT scan for pain near left kidney. Told there is a hypodense lesion of 1.5cm and a hyperdense lesion of .5cm.  Could this be from kidney stone?

Kidney radiology: JHerbert, hello I want to start by saying that I'm a Family Practice doctor and also worked as an ER doc for 5 years. I am not a radiologist and I hope if there's a radiologist on HealthTap they will respond to you. That said I believe kidney stones tend to be hyperdense and the size of .5cm is about right as well. A hypodense lesion may be a cyst but I suggest waiting for the official read. ...Read more

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Could a gall stone be mistaken for a kidney stone on a CT scan.?

Could a gall stone be mistaken for a kidney stone on a CT scan.?

No.: Ct scans precisely define the anatomy of different organs in the abdominal cavity. I can safely state that it would be impossible to confuse a gallstone from a kidney stone on a ct scan. ...Read more

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I had a CT scan done for a kidney stone. It says there appears to be interval thinning of left cortex at the poles. What does that mean?

I had a CT scan done for a kidney stone. It says there appears to be interval thinning of left cortex at the poles. What does that mean?

Renal scarring: The upper and lower poles of the kidney or more vulnerable to scarring secondary to reflux. This may have occurred earlier in life secondary to a febrile urinary track infection characteristic for pyelonephritis which during the healing process can lead to scarring. You cannot eliminate scarring once present but you can help to prevent further urinary tract infections specifically with fever. ...Read more

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After 2 wks, docs say kidney stone passed since ct scan showed up clear. 3 days later still having pain (not as excruciating but constant). Is normal?

See rmark: If the CT showed NO STONE the discomfort/pain may be resultant of stone passing,as it "scratches the lining of the ureter.Drink enough fluids.I advise you drink a glass of lemonade in AM and one glass in PM. I don't know the nature of your stone,but lemonade which contains CITRIC ACID does help prevent future ones.......Best of luck young lady ..JBR ...Read more

Dr. Eric Weisman
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Computed Tomography (Definition)

Ct uses xrays taken an 360 degrees combined with a computer to see"inside" the body. The table moves as the xray tube and detectors spin around the patient 10 times a second or more! the image shows excellent soft tissue detail, enhanced with injection of intravenous contrast or oral contrast. This way the body is shown in slices, in any plane, usually axially, but ...Read more


Dr. Michael Gabor
1,836 doctors shared insights

Ct Scan (Definition)

Ct scan uses data from a beam of xrays and reconstructs a cross sectional image of your body. It is a high dose of xrays and used only when the benefits outweigh the risk. Cancer risk is 1 in 500 in children. Also using iodinated contrast might cause transient renal failure in about 5% of patients. (contrast induced nepropathy) most do not explain this to the patient as ...Read more