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Doctor insights on: X Ray Vs Ct Scan Kidney Stones

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Urologist suggests CT scan after xray and sonogram suggest kidney stones, but he saw only "shadow." Is CT scan necessary to confirm stones? No pain.

Urologist suggests CT scan after  xray and sonogram suggest kidney stones, but he saw only "shadow." Is CT scan necessary to confirm stones? No pain.

CT scans are: more accurate than ultrasound for diagnosis of kidney stones and other anatomical abnormalities of kidneys such as tumors. If you are having painless hematuria, this condition raises suspicion of possible tumor in urinary tract. ...Read more

Dr. Daniel Saurborn
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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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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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Had l spine xray and CT scan for kidney stones, all clear. Low back pain..Would l spine xray have shown lower back tumor? No stones, uti, etc.

Had l spine xray and CT scan for kidney stones, all clear. Low back pain..Would l spine xray have shown lower back tumor? No stones, uti, etc.

No: An x-ray of the lumbar spine would predominantly show only bone. In general, an x-ray is not a very sensitive test to detect the specific cause of back pain in most patients. Consider requesting an MRI which shows the bone, but also shows the nerves, discs, and other soft tissues of the back and is therefore much more sensitive than an x-ray. ...Read more

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I've had 4mm kidney stone (per xray) causing flank pain for 1 month. My pcp won't refer me to urologist w/out CT scan but i don't want the radiation.?

I've had 4mm kidney stone (per xray) causing flank pain for 1 month. My pcp won't refer me to urologist w/out CT scan but i don't want the radiation.?

You have good point: Yes your are right , speak to PCP again may refer you to urologist. Unfortunately that stone was there for 1 month Yes CT with contrast will give negligible radiation but gives valuable information in managing your case , location , reason why it got stuck for 1 month , status of ureter , need for intervention etc ...Read more

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Could be myeloma in woman in early thirties? Only symptom is persistent low back pain.Had clear l spine xray/ clear CT scan for kidney stones. No uti.

Could be myeloma in woman in early thirties? Only symptom is persistent low back pain.Had clear l spine xray/ clear CT scan for kidney stones. No uti.

Diagnosis of myeloma: Your answer is longer than 400 characters. You can find the information you seek at this website: http://www.Cancer.Org/cancer/multiplemyeloma/detailedguide/multiple-myeloma-diagnosis good luck. ...Read more

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Adominal pain like contractions for a month had xray cat scan no answers not ibs,kidney stones, bladder, or appedendix. Any suggestions ?

Adominal pain like contractions for a month had xray cat scan no answers not ibs,kidney stones, bladder, or appedendix. Any suggestions ?

Work with one Doc.: It is important you see one physician when trying to find the cause of abdominal pain. When the cause of your pain is not apparent on a CTscan and/or x-rays, you may need further testing such as an ultra sound and blood tests to check for things like gall stones, ulcers and gluten sensitivity. If that does not provide the answer, you may need a referral to a GI specialist for possible endoscopy. ...Read more

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CT showed 4mm kidney stone 8 days ago. X-ray today showed nothing. I don't think it has passed, but not much pain. Should I get another CT?

CT showing stone: CT scan images are far more precise than plain KUB xray. CT scan will pick up smaller images and will pick up non-calcium containing stones. KUB will reveal only calcium stones and size and position and angles matter for visibility. Getting another CT is not compelling. Drink 4-5 liters per day. Include lemon extract 5 tblspn ReaLemon per day. 4 mm will pass. ...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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How often is it really safe to have a CT scan for kidney stones?

How often is it really safe to have a CT scan for kidney stones?

Not often: Having a ct scan exposes a person to low doses of radiation. Most people will have at least one ct scan in there lifetime, which is not harmful. However, people with chronic conditions, like stones, may be exposed to radiation from imaging tests like ct scans multiple times in their life, which can be harmful. Trying to use alternative methods like ultrasound, if possible, is a good option. ...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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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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Need expert opinions. How often is it safe to have a CT scan for kidney stones?

Only when needed: You should only have a ct scan when the benefit to you at that moment is greater than the risk from the radiation. Hard to measure, but, you should not get one "just to see where the stones are". You should try to always use techniques to limit radiation dose, dual energy ct can provide insight as to what kind of kidney stones there are to maximize treatment, and consider MRI (no radiation). ...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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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?

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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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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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 was diagnosed with kidney stones back in 12/2015. Had ESWL in march. But us showed it failed. I had a ct scan today. What would typically be next?

I was diagnosed with kidney stones back in 12/2015. Had ESWL in march. But us showed it failed. I had a ct scan today. What would typically be next?

Here are some...: To many, ESWL or laser for urinary stones may portray a hope like a magic, but not as reflected in their success as time-tested. Back in 1980-90s, ESWL was "king"; over the past 20+s years, the tide of popularity reversed, but yet to depend on professional expertise and facility availability. If stone <1.25 cm, I would use laser breaking via ureter to kidney; if bigger, remove it via a puncture... ...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?

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

Dr. Michael Gabor
1,850 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