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Doctor insights on: How Well Do Kidney Stones Show In A Ct Scan Without Contrast

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How well do kidney stones show in a CT scan without contrast?

How well do kidney stones show in a CT scan without contrast?

Very Well: Almost all kidney stones show up extremely well on a non-contrasted ct scan. A stone that was composed entirely of protein matrix may not show but the typical calcium oxalate, calcium phosphate, and uric acid stones show up very well. Read more

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Dr. Tanya Russo
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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


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If I had a CT scan without contrast would kidney stones show up. ..

If I had a CT scan without contrast would kidney stones show up. ..

Yes: In fact, ct scanning without contrast is becoming the gold standard evaluation for kidney stones. Contrast material frequently obscures stones and makes their identification difficult. Stones as small as 1 mm can be detected with unenhanced ct technique. Radiolucent stones which cannot be seen well with plain x-ray technique do show up well with unenhanced ct scan. Read more

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Would kidney stones show up on a CT scan if I hadn't been given contrast fluids to drink?

Would kidney stones show up on a CT scan if I hadn't been given contrast fluids to drink?

Yes!: Yes- that is exactly how a ct for renal stones should be performed- with oral or IV contrast. Read more

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Does a CT scan always show iup kidney stones?

Does a CT scan always show iup kidney stones?

Not always: This does depend on the size of the kidney stone and the way the study is performed. Suffice it to say almost always Read more

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CT scan shows 4mm kidney stone on wall of my kidney. No sign of it passing soon w/o forcing fluids. Will it continue to grow if not passed?

CT scan shows 4mm kidney stone on wall of my kidney. No sign of it passing soon w/o forcing fluids. Will it continue to grow if not passed?

Kidney stone.: If left alone, it is likely to grow. Usually the largest size kidney stone that’ll pass without intervention is 5-6mm. 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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Is a kidney ultra sound good for spotting kidney stones or just it be a CT scan?

Is a kidney ultra sound good for spotting kidney stones or just it be a CT scan?

Yes and no...: Non-contrast ct is superior to ultrasound for kidney stones. Some stones will be visible on ultrasound, but the majority will not. Ultrasound will show if you have hydronephrosis (swelling or distension of the kidney collecting system for urine) which can suggest a blockage that may be due to a kidney stone. Hope this helps! Read more

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Hi dr! I want to ask. Is it possible that a kidney stones was seen in ultrasound but can't be seen in ct scan with contrast?

Hi dr! I want to ask. Is it possible that a kidney stones was seen in ultrasound but can't be seen in ct scan with contrast?

Yes, because: It had probably passed in the meantime. Small stones generally pass. Most important for you is to prevent recurrence of stones. Read more

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It it possible for kidney stones to show up on ultrasound and not of CT scan if so what kind of stones would they be (uric acid)?

Uric acid stones: Yes, this is possible: Uric acid stones are not very radio-opaque - so plain XRAY miss them; so might CT, unless contrast is used. Ultrasound will not miss them, unless small - less than 5 mm Read more

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Had CT scan w/o contrast of kidneys to check for kidney stones and it came back normal. Would tumors and cysts also have shown up on the CT scan I had?

Yes but: Kidney tumors and cysts will show on a non-contast CT scan.However if there is a hyperdense cyst (due to hemorrhagic proteinaceous material in it) it cannot be distinguished from tumor without contrast. When contrast is given, a tumor will enhance (it will appear white)but a cyst will not enhance. I don't think you need to worry about tumor at age 33.Extremely rare. I'm glad you had no stones. Read more

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I was given metronidazole from urgent care. And got a ct scan yesterday that shows a kidney stone should I still take metronidazole?

I was given metronidazole from urgent care. And got a ct scan yesterday that shows a kidney stone should I still take metronidazole?

Yes, you can: It is an antibiotic, would not effect the kidney stone. The kidney stone also need to be managed but separately. To contact me click here --> http://bit. Ly/1EQ6YPH Read more

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Could the reason for the severe pain in left lower abdomen be a kidney stone? Would it show in CT scan as I had it done and nothing came out in c.T sca

Could the reason for the severe pain in left lower abdomen be a kidney stone? Would it show in CT scan as I had it done and nothing came out in c.T sca

May be...: Have the possible diverticulitis of colon been ever considered? To get more meaningful evaluation, it's good idea to collect the feature, degree, and progress of specific symptoms over time with their sequence of events, and bring them to see doctor for review, analysis, more history, physicals, and possible tests as need so to deduce what is happening to you and how to treat you sensibly. Best.. Read more

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I have 2 kidney stones in my right kidney. My urine has bubbles in it. I had CT scan, blood work up and urinalysis--all was good. Should I worry?

I have 2 kidney stones in my right kidney. My urine has bubbles in it. I had CT scan, blood work up and urinalysis--all was good. Should I worry?

Ask urologist: The kidney stones are silent unless they move and cause pain or if they block urine flow and back pressure builds up in the kidney causing infection. Your urologist is best qualified to advise you about your current status and followup. 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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Without contrast in CT scan is it possible to mix up tumors and kidney stones? I had no back pain but was told I had a large stone during a UTI at er.

Not usually: Kidney stones have a characteristic appearance of solid calcified masses in the central area of the kidney where urine collects. Tumors, while sometimes partially calcified, mostly occur in the outside part of the kidney called the cortex and have a prominent noncalcified soft tissue component. When in doubt contrast is used but the need for contrast to tell stones from tumors is uncommon. Read more

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Lower left back pain that moves CT scan shows kidney stones but md says not relevant father and aunt died from renal cell ca help?

Lower left back pain that moves CT scan shows kidney stones but md says not relevant father and aunt died from renal cell ca help?

MRI: If your medical doctor does not feel it's coming from the kidney, can consider getting an mri. It will better show soft tissue pathology than the ct scan will and may reveal a disc or other problem in the lumbar spine. This is indicated if you have had the pain for a while and have not responded to conservative treatment. Read more

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Blood in urine reoccuing UTI CT scan 3mm kidney stone bladder ultra sound scan shows bladder not emptying proper what could this be?

Blood in urine reoccuing UTI CT scan 3mm kidney stone bladder ultra sound scan shows bladder not emptying proper what could this be?

Cystitis.: Gross hematuria probably as a result of cystitis caused by the bladder outlet narrowing or stenosis and not because of the kidney stone. By drinking more water like 8 cups a day you can pass the kidney stone. For the cystitis you need urine culture. Until the culture result comes back you can be put on an antibiotic such as cipro (ciprofloxacin) to stop the gross hematuria. Read more

Dr. Michael Gabor
1,854 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


Kidney (Definition)

The kidneys are paired organs that lie on either side of the vertebral column. Part of their critical functions include the excretion of urine and removal of nitrogenous wastes products from the blood. They regulate acid-base, electrolyte, fluid balance and blood pressure. Through hormonal signals, the kidneys control the ...Read more