Tests and diagnosis

By Mayo Clinic Staff

If your doctor suspects you have a kidney stone, you may have diagnostic tests and procedures, such as:

  • Blood tests. Blood tests may reveal too much calcium or uric acid in your blood. Blood test results help monitor the health of your kidneys and may lead your doctor to check for other medical conditions.
  • Urine tests. Tests of your urine, such as the 24-hour urine collection, may show that you're excreting too many stone-forming minerals or too few stone-preventing substances.
  • Imaging tests. Imaging tests may show kidney stones in your urinary tract. Options range from simple abdominal X-rays, which can miss small kidney stones, to high-speed computerized tomography (CT) that may reveal even tiny stones. Other imaging options include an ultrasound, a noninvasive test, and intravenous pyelography, which involves injecting dye into your arm vein and taking X-rays as the dye travels through your kidneys and bladder.
  • Analysis of passed stones. You may be asked to urinate through a strainer to catch stones that you pass. Lab analysis will reveal the makeup of your kidney stones. Your doctor uses this information to determine what's causing your kidney stones and to form a plan to prevent more kidney stones.
Mar. 17, 2012