Pediatric Kidney Stones
Also known as: nephrolithiasis.
What are kidney stones?
A kidney stone is a solid, hard, pebble-like object that forms in a child’s kidneys when normal urine substances (like calcium, oxalates, magnesium, and phosphorus) become very concentrated. There are 4 main types of kidney stones- those containing primarily calcium, cysteine, uric acid or struvite.
What causes kidney stones?
A number of factors may be involved. These include a family history of kidney stones, dehydration from decreased fluid intake, diets high in sodium or protein, repeated urinary tract infections, obesity, abnormalities of the urinary tract, inactivity, and some medications, and many other medical conditions (like inflammatory bowel disease or cystic fibrosis or a neurogenic bladder) may all increase the likelihood of kidney stones developing.
What are the signs/symptoms of kidney stones?
Small stones may be passed without any symptoms. Larger kidney stones are primarily known for causing severe pain in the back, side or lower abdomen, or groin. Common signs/symptoms also include:
- Blood in the urine
- Symptoms associated with recurent urinary tract infections
- Frequent/urgent urination
What are kidney stones treatment options?
Treatment depends on the size of the stone(s), what it’s made of, and whether it/they block the flow of urine. Smaller stones may pass on their own with just pain medication and by drinking lots of fluids. Large stones may need hospitalization, lithotripsy (shock waves to crush the stones), stents to open blockages, tubes to drain the urine (nephrostomy tube) and/or surgical removal.
Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP
This page was last updated on: September 09, 2020 11:23 AM
Learn more about
Acute Kidney Injury
When the kidneys are suddenly damaged and cannot perform their normal function of removing extra fluid, salts, waste and toxins from the blood, the condition is known as acute kidney injury.
Renal Parenchyma Diseases
Renal parenchyma disease describes medical conditions which damages the renal cortex and the renal medulla.
Nephrostomy Tube Placement
A nephrostomy tube is a form of catheter, or thin plastic tube, that is inserted into the kidneys. The purpose of a nephrostomy tube is to drain urine from the body during a medical procedure or when the body is unable to drain urine for other reasons.