Kidney – Function and Diagnostic Tests

Kidneys are paired organs that purify the blood, controls body fluid and electrolytes and also process the waste out of the body. It is bean-shaped, of about 4 to 5 inches in length that roughly resembles the size of a fist. It sits beneath the ribs, just behind the belly. It purifies the blood by filtering them, from where it absorbs back the minerals, salts, and water, and removes the waste in the form of urine.

Detecting any kidney illness in its early stage is very tricky as even 10 percent of the functioning kidney does a pretty good job. Thus, only best hospitals can offer a quality diagnosis of the kidney. At ILS Hospitals, we offer the following renal diagnostics for providing a quality treatment for any malfunction of kidneys.

1. Kidney ultrasound

The test is carried out by placing the probe transmitting sound waves over the waist. The sound wave gets reflected from the kidney to cast an image. This can help to find the existence of any stones, lumps, cysts or block in the kidney.

2. Urinalysis

It is a routine visual screening of kidney that can be done both by tools or pathologist himself through a microscope. It can help to detect minute signs of kidney damage such as bleeding, infections, or inflammation etc.

3. Ureteroscopy

It is a kind of endoscopy, specific for screening for kidney and its associated organs. The flexible endoscopic is inserted through the urethra into the bladder and then into the ureters. Even though the endoscope does not reach the kidney itself, it helps to detect any possible complications associated with them.

4. Computed tomography

More commonly known as the CT scan is helpful for diagnosis kidneys as well. The scanner captures the detailed X-ray images of the kidney in a series and it is then fed to the computer to analyze any abnormality in the kidneys.

5. Magnetic Resonance Imaging

More commonly known as MRI uses radio waves and magnetic field to yield a high-resolution image of the kidney to detect any abnormality in it.

6. Kidney biopsy

A fine needle is used to extract a small amount of tissue to observe it under a microscope. It can detect the possibility of malignancy in the kidney.

7. Blood and urine test

A sample of blood and urine is extracted and screened for possible infection and microbial growth.

On this month of March, when we observed World Kidney Day, we, at ILS Hospitals encourage every individual to keep a close eye on their respective renal health.

Kidney Stones – Various Types of Kidney Stones

The Kidneys play a vital function in the body as it purifies the blood and creates urine. Kidney stones are hard particles accumulated over time. According to doctors, there are mainly four types of kidney stones. Let’s understand each of these in details.

Calcium stones- Most of the kidney stones are made up of calcium component, particularly the calcium oxalate and calcium phosphate along with traces of other minerals. Presence of high level of oxalate also contributes towards the formation of calcium kidney stones. Any episode of hyperparathyroidism elevates the risk of developing calcium stones in the future.

Calcium Kidney Stones

Use of certain medication may prevent calcium kidney stones.

Struvite stones– Some of the kidney stones are made up of struvite. It can occur in both kidney and urinary tract. If it’s left untreated for a long time, it grows larger in size, which is also known as staghorn calculi. Apart from causing kidney stones, it can also lead to urinary tract infection.

struvite kidney stone

As it can get bigger in size with time due to accumulate, it is considered as a serious health crisis. It can also cause infection. The medical treatment includes antibiotics; and if nothing significantly changes for better, then it has to be removed by surgical intervention. Women are more susceptible to develop a UTI and struvite stones as compared to men.

Uric acid stones- Some kidney stones are comprised of uric acid. Uric acid is a waste product produced by the body. Usually it passes through the body before eliminating as waste, but if this passage gets interrupted, then it accumulates to form stones.

Uric Acid Kidney Stone

Usually certain medications are used to dissolve these stones to prevent its further formation. People who are more likely to suffer from uric acid kidney stones are as follows-

  1. Having low urine as output
  2. Consuming a diet rich in animal protein
  3. Significant increase in alcohol consumption
  4. Medical conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease and Gout

Cysteine stones- Less common type of kidney stones are comprised of cysteine. It is a chemical substance present in urine in traces. But the individuals who possess a high concentration of cysteine in the urine are likely to develop this kind of kidney stone in the future.

cysteine kidney stone

Certain medicines can be used to prevent it from occurring, in case it has already been formed, use of medication may dissolve it. However, if it causes blockage in the urinary tract, it has to be removed by surgery.