Ureteral Calculus

What is Ureteral Calculus?

A ureteral calculus, more commonly known as a kidney stone, is a hard deposit, usually made of calcium and oxalate, that forms in the ureter. The ureter is the tube which carries urine from the kidneys to the bladder.

Causes of Ureteral Calculus

Ureteral calculi can form in the kidneys and travel down the ureters, or they can form in the ureters due to small pieces of matter coming together. Causes of ureteral calculi include:
  • Dehydration
  • High levels of certain minerals and chemicals like calcium, oxalate, and uric acid in the urine
  • Family history of ureteral calculi
  • Reduced urinary flow rate
  • Gastrointestinal surgery

Symptoms of Ureteral Calculus

Ureteral calculus can cause a variety of symptoms, depending on the size and location of the stone. Symptoms may include:
  • Pain in the abdomen, sides, or lower back
  • Painful or difficult urination
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Frequent urination
  • Blood in the urine (hematuria)

Diagnosis of Ureteral Calculus

Ureteral calculi can be diagnosed through a variety of imaging studies, including X-rays, ultrasound, CT scans, MRI scans, and special renal scans. These tests can not only detect the presence of a stone, but also measure its size and determine its location.

Treatment of Ureteral Calculus

Treatment options for ureteral calculi depend on the size and location of the stone. Small stones may be able to be dissolved with medications, while larger stones may need to be surgically removed. Ureteroscopy, laser lithotripsy, and extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy are all potential treatment options for ureteral calculi.

Prevention of Ureteral Calculus

There are several steps that can be taken to reduce your risk of developing ureteral calculi. These include:
  • Drinking plenty of fluids to keep the urine diluted
  • Eating a diet low in salt and animal proteins
  • Cutting back on caffeine and alcohol intake
  • Avoiding foods high in oxalates
  • Maintaining a healthy weight

Ureteral calculi can be a painful and inconvenient condition, but with the right preventative measures they can mostly be avoided. If you do experience any of the symptoms of ureteral calculi, it is important to contact your doctor right away for diagnosis and treatment.