CT kidney scan has become the standard test if a kidney stone(s) is suspected. Renal stones most often have calcium in them and are therefore easily detected by CT scan.
Calcium is very easily detected on CT scan because it stands out brightly on images. I.V. contrast is used most often to search for any tumors or lesions in or on the kidney(s) and for evaluation of the ureters and the renal collecting systems. It is also used to evaluate the renal surfaces and surface contours. This image shows how the two kidneys become more brightly visible by the use of IV contrast.
Blood in the urine, which is called hematuria, and pain in one or both sides, is a common symptom that could indicate the possibility of a kidney stone(s). CT scanning is the best method for detecting the possibility of the presence of kidney stones. Scanning for the presence of kidney stones using CT scan is quick and can be done most often in about 30 seconds.
Injury to the kidney(s) from an accident is quickly assessed by injecting I.V. (intravenous) contrast into the vein for greater detail of the surface of the kidneys and contour of the kidneys. Torn or contused kidneys are best evaluated by CT kidney scan with IV contrast.
Cysts on the kidneys are also very common and can be easily seen on CT scan images.
Urologists are physicians that specialize in kidney problems and are consulted to evaluate any problems in the urinary system. CT scans to look for urinary abnormalities are commonly ordered by urologists.