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Diagnosis of Kidney Stones

  • Michael Jubinville, MPH
Publication Type:

Condition InDepth

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.
  • Kidney stones. National Kidney Foundation website. Available at: https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/kidneystones.
  • Kidney stones. Urology Care Foundation website. Available at: https://www.urologyhealth.org/urologic-conditions/kidney-stones.
  • Nephrolithiasis in adults. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114904/Nephrolithiasis-in-adults.
  • Urinary calculi. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/genitourinary-disorders/urinary-calculi/urinary-calculi.


  • Mark Itzkowitz, MD
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.