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Diagnosis of Kidney Stones

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and health past. A physical exam will be done. Your doctor may think you have a kidney stone based on your symptoms. Testing can help find where the stone is and what type it is. Tests may include:
  • Urinalysis and urine culture—To look for infection, or a higher than normal amount of minerals or other matter that cause stones.
  • Blood tests—To look for higher than normal amounts of minerals or other matter that cause stones.
  • Imaging tests look at structures to find the location of the kidney stone. These include:
  • 24-hour urine collection—Tests look for levels of minerals and other matter that can form kidney stones such as uric acid, calcium, or oxalate.
  • Stone analysis—Collected stones are looked at in a lab to see what type it is. This will help with preventing stones from happening again.


Diagnosis of kidney stones. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/kidney-stones/diagnosis. Updated May 2017. Accessed April 2, 2019.
Kidney stones. National Kidney Foundation website. Available at: https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/kidneystones. Accessed April 2, 2019.
Kidney stones. Urology Care Foundation website. Available at: https://www.urologyhealth.org/urologic-conditions/kidney-stones. Accessed April 2, 2019.
Nephrolithiasis in adults. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114904/Nephrolithiasis-in-adults. Updated March 22, 2019. Accessed April 2, 2019.
Urinary calculi. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/genitourinary-disorders/urinary-calculi/urinary-calculi. Updated March 2018. Accessed April 2, 2019.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrienne Carmack, MD
  • Review Date: 03/2019
  • Update Date: 04/02/2019
Article written by Carmack A