CT imaging in renal stone disease

Author(s): Dr Davinia Ryan, Dr John Feeney

Hospital: Tallaght Hospital

Reference: RAD Magazine, 40, 472, 13-14


Renal calculi are predominantly a western affliction with a prevalence of 1 in 1,000. They have a higher lifetime incidence in men with a male to female ratio of 3:1. A family history of renal stones increases the risk threefold. They generally present in the third to fifth decades of life. 12% of the population develops stones by the age of 70. They most commonly present with pain and haematuria but may also cause urgency, urinary tract infection or acute renal impairment. 2-3% of the population will experience renal colic in their lifetime. Of those with first time stones, 70% have a specific metabolic disorder.

Factors influencing the development of renal calculi include metabolic disorders that result in increased urine levels of calcium, oxalic acid, uric acid or citric acid. Genetic causes include familial renal tubular acidosis and mutations in the CLCN5 gene. An increase in renal calculi formation is also seen in those with renal structural abnormalities such as the presence of a horseshoe kidney or pelvic kidney.

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