CT scans are frequently used to evaluate the internal structures of the body.
A variety of trends have increased the use of CT including new high resolution scanners that give greater anatomical detail and faster scanning time - scans that used to take minutes can now be done in seconds.
A CT scan of the Kidneys for stones is a CT scan test that specifically looks for stones in the Kidneys, Ureters and Bladder (therefore KUB). This scan is frequently done in the emergency room for patients with sudden onset sharp side and back pain who have blood in their urine. It's also ordered by outpatient doctors as well for similar symptoms. As an outpatient you may get an order from your doctor for:
"r/o renal stones" - CT KUB is very good at picking up small and large calcified stones in the kidneys. It can also detect stones in the ureters which are small tubes that connect your kidneys (just under your rib cage) to your bladder (in the pelvis).
"h/o hematuria"- hematuria means blood in the urine. Stones can irritate the urinary drainage system leading to mild bleeding. The bleeding is usually detected on a urine lab test ("microscopic hematuria") or occasionally can present with obvious, visible bleeding ("gross hematuria").
"h/o flank pain" - renal stones occasionally cause dull or sharp pain along the sides of your lower chest and upper abdomen. Sometimes the pain can radiate to the pelvis and into the testicle or labia. This type of pain is can be seen with urinary medical issues.
(FYI - "r/o" is short for "rule out" and "h/o" is short for "history of")
An CT scan of the kidneys will evaluate:
Kidneys, Ureters, Bladder
A CT scan of the kidneys is designed to look for small (or large) stones that form in the kidneys and migrate into the ureters and bladder.
Liver, Gallbladder, Pancreas, etc
Since the CT scan includes nearby structures, many of the internal organs of the abdomen and pelvis will also be seen and can be evaluated. This includes the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, spleen, bowel loops, prostate, and uterus for example.
Your CT scan for stones:
Keep in mind that a CT scan for stones is actually two separate tests done together: a CT scan of the Abdomen and CT scan of the Pelvis. The test is usually done without IV dye contrast.
A CT scan of the stones takes about 5 minutes or so to complete once you're on the table. If you are
going for one, wear loose comfortable clothing. If you're insured, you may need to have your test authorized (approved) by your insurance company first. If you're uninsured and need to look up prices and buy an CT scan of of the Kidneys (KUB) for stones, you can use our website. Click here to see CT scan costs.
Have you had a CT scan for stones? What was it like? Please leave your comments below.