Nephrolithiasis: Statistics, Risk Factors, Prevalence, Progression, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

It refers to the presence of crystalline stones within the urinary system.

Such kidney stones are made up of varying amounts of crystalloids and organic matrix. Ureteral stones almost always originate in the kidney but then move to the ureter.

Kidney stones are small deposits that build up in the kidneys, made up of calcium, phosphate, and other components from food. They are a common cause of blood in the urine.

Statistics on nephrolithiasis

Kidney stones are common. About 5% of women and 10% of men will have at least one episode by age 70.

Kidney stones affect about 2 out of every 1,000 people. Recurrence is expected, and the risk of recurrence is higher if there are two or more episodes of kidney stones. Kidney stones are common in premature babies.

Risk factor’s

Some types of stones tend to run in families. Some types may be associated with other conditions, such as bowel disease, obesity, ileal bypass, or kidney tubule defects.

A personal or family history of stones is associated with an increased risk of stone formation. Other risk factors include renal tubular acidosis and the resulting nephrocalcinosis.



  • 17% of the entire population will have kidney stones in their lifetime.
  • If it affects both men and women. 12% of men and 5% of women are likely to experience kidney stones in their lifetime.
  • The average appearance of kidney stones is older than 30 years.
  • People who have had kidney stones in the past are at a higher risk of having a second episode of kidney stones.


Kidney stone formation can occur when urine becomes excessively concentrated with certain substances. These substances in the urine can be complex to form tiny crystals and later stones.

The stones may not produce symptoms until they move down the ureter, causing pain. The pain is severe and often begins in the flank region and works its way down to the groin. The size of the kidney stone will dictate the natural history of this condition.

If the stone is less than 5mm in diameter, it will likely pass to future urination. If the stone is more significant than 5mm, urological procedures may be required to remove the stone.

Surgical intervention will be required in any patient whose urinary tract is completely obstructed. This situation represents a surgical emergency.


Symptoms of kidney stone disease can include:

  • Pain: unilateral or bilateral flank or back pain. It usually is severe and colicky (spasms), radiating to the pelvis, groin, and genitals.
  • Sickness.
  • He retched.
  • Blood in the urine.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Dysuria.
  • Nocturia.
  • Urinary hesitancy.
  • Fever.
  • Shaking chills.
  • Abnormal odor in urine


Several blood and urine tests will be needed to detect the presence of infection and evaluate kidney function. Urinary tests can also identify the type of stone, allowing further therapy targeting.

An abdomen x-ray is also required to detect the rocks or any other problem causing similar symptoms when urinary stones are suspected.


Kidney stones are painful but are usually passed without causing permanent damage. They tend to recur, mainly if the underlying cause is not found and untreated.


The goals of treatment include relief of symptoms and prevention of other symptoms. Treatment varies depending on the type of stone and the severity of symptoms and complications. Hospitalization may be required if symptoms are severe.

The stones are generally passed through the urine with enough time to pass through the system. The urine should be filtered at the time of passage, and the stone should be kept for analysis of the stone type. Fluids must be adequate to produce a large amount of urine.

Water is recommended, at least 6 to 8 glasses per day. If oral intake is inadequate, intravenous fluids may be required.

Pain relievers may be needed to control renal colic (pain associated with passing stones). Severe pain may require strong pain relievers such as morphine or pethidine.

Depending on the type of stone, medications may be administered to reduce the stone formation and dissolve the material that forms the stone. These can include drugs such as diuretics, phosphate solutions, allopurinol, antibiotics, and medications that make urine alkalines, such as sodium bicarbonate or sodium citrate.

If the stone does not pass on its own, surgical removal of the stone may be necessary.

Lithotripsy can be an alternative to surgery. In this procedure, ultrasonic sound waves or shock waves are used to break stones and expel them in the urine or remove them with an endoscope inserted into the kidney during surgery.

With a resolution of the condition, the patient may be asked to avoid certain foods that can increase the likelihood of developing kidney stones.