Kidney Problems - Diagnosis
The doctor can determine if you have a kidney infection by examining your urine for bacteria and pus cells.
A urologist can examine your urine under a microscope to check for blood, crystals, and infection. X-rays can help locate a stone and determine its size. X-rays without dye (contrast) can determine if the stone is blocking a kidney. An ultrasound exam can sometimes determine size and location of a stone. At other times, more complex tests may need to be done.
The diagnosis of kidney failure is made by looking at certain lab results. The most commonly used are serum creatinine and blood urea nitrogen (BUN).
Kidney masses are often detected by abdominal ultrasound or CT scan as an incidental finding while evaluating another condition or performing screening. The primary modality of diagnosis is currently abdominal ultrasound. Once a solid mass of the kidney has been identified, a CT scan is the most common study to elucidate the size and extent of the tumor.
One of the most prominent characteristics of Renal cell carcinoma is the tendency to invade its own venous supply. Therefore, the possibility of hematogenous metastasis is high even with relatively small tumors. The staging evaluation includes a chest X-ray, liver function tests, and in selected patients, a bone scan.
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