Imaging Techniques For The Kidney
KUB is the proper terminology for a radiograph of the abdomen when used to view the urinary tract. The outline of kidneys can usually be seen. Ureters usually are not visible. The most common pathological findings are urinary tract stones. See the image below.
The imaging technique of choice for evaluation of the urinary tract and adrenal glands is CT scanning. It allows evaluation of the relative density of structures. CT scanning without contrast can be used for detection of renal or ureteral stones. See the image below.
The advantages of ultrasonography include that it is readily available, does not require contrast, and avoids radiation exposure. The renal medulla is hypoechoic compared with the renal cortex. The renal cortex is isoechoic or slightly hypoechoic compared with the liver. Ultrasonography is able to identify simple or mildly complicated cysts and is able to differentiate these lesions from a solid mass. It is excellent for detecting hydronephrosis. See the image below.
Radionuclide Renal Scintigraphy
Renal radionuclide imaging is an integral part of nuclear medicine and provides substantial information on the actual renal function.
The following radionuclides are used for dynamic imaging:
- Tc-99m-diethylene triamine pentaacetic acid
For static imaging, Tc-99m-dimercaptosuccinic acid is used.
A diuretic challenge can also be administered.
What Do The Kidneys Do
When blood flows to the kidney, sensors within specialized kidney cells regulate how much water to excrete as urine, along with what concentration of electrolytes. For example, if a person is dehydrated from exercise or from an illness, the kidneys will hold onto as much water as possible and the urine becomes very concentrated. When adequate water is present in the body, the urine is much more dilute, and the urine becomes clear. This system is controlled by renin, a hormone produced in the kidney that is part of the fluid and blood pressure regulation systems of the body.
Kidneys are also the source of erythropoietin in the body, a hormone that stimulates the bone marrow to make red blood cells. Special cells in the kidney monitor the oxygen concentration in blood. If oxygen levels fall, erythropoietin levels rise and the body starts to manufacture more red blood cells.
Urine that is made by each kidney flows through the ureter, a tube that connects the kidney to the bladder. Urine is stored within the bladder, and when urination occurs, the bladder empties urine through a tube called the urethra.
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What Else Do Kidneys Do
Kidneys are always busy. Besides filtering the blood and balancing fluids every second during the day, the kidneys constantly react to hormones that the brain sends them. Kidneys even make some of their own hormones. For example, the kidneys produce a hormone that tells the body to make red blood cells.
Now you know what the kidneys do and how important they are. Maybe next Valentine’s Day, instead of the same old heart, you can give your parents a special card featuring the kidneys!
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Why Are The Kidneys So Important
Most people know that a major function of the kidneys is to remove waste products and excess fluid from the body. These waste products and excess fluid are removed through the urine. The production of urine involves highly complex steps of excretion and re-absorption. This process is necessary to maintain a stable balance of body chemicals.
The critical regulation of the body’s salt, potassium and acid content is performed by the kidneys. The kidneys also produce hormones that affect the function of other organs. For example, a hormone produced by the kidneys stimulates red blood cell production. Other hormones produced by the kidneys help regulate blood pressure and control calcium metabolism.
The kidneys are powerful chemical factories that perform the following functions:
- remove waste products from the body
- remove drugs from the body
- balance the body’s fluids
- release hormones that regulate blood pressure
- produce an active form of vitamin D that promotes strong, healthy bones
- control the production of red blood cells
Below you will find more information about the kidneys and the vital role they play in keeping your body functioning.
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- Relieve swelling
- Protect your bones
Your kidney doctor also may recommend a lower protein diet to minimize waste products in your blood. Regular follow-up kidney tests may be necessary to see if your disease remains stable or is progressing.
I think I can confidently say that we all want to live a healthy life without having to worry about our kidneys failing, Dr. Young says. I believe the most important part of my job is to try to prevent further damage to the kidneys and try to help people live as long as possible, as naturally as possible.
Steven Baldridge, RN, is a staff educator at University Hospitals Samaritan Medical Center.
Location Of Your Kidneys
Kidneys are two organs that are shaped like a bean on either side of the spine. They are located below the rib cage, behind the abdomen, and under the liver. The right kidney sits a bit lower than the left one as the biggest part of the liver is on the right side of the abdomen.
Most problems or infections with your kidney cause middle back pain or flank pain. However, the pain is not always felt where the kidneys are located. According to Medicine Net, flank or renal pain can be felt anywhere between your lowest ribs and your buttocks. In some cases, the pain may radiate to your abdominal area.
The pain can be felt in just the right or left side of the back, depending on its underlying cause. But sometimes, kidney pain may affect both sides of your back. Although it can be hard to distinguish between back pain and kidney pain, kidney pain usually comes with other symptoms.
What Are The Kidneys Where Are They Located
The kidneys play key roles in body function, not only by filtering the blood and getting rid of waste products, but also by balancing the electrolyte levels in the body, controlling blood pressure, and stimulating the production of red blood cells.
The kidneys are located in the abdomen toward the back, normally one on each side of the spine. They get their blood supply through the renal arteries directly from the aorta and send blood back to the heart via the renal veins to the vena cava.
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Why Is Lower Back Pain Such A Common Problem
The bottom part of your back typically has just five vertebrae fewer than your neck and mid-back. And these vertebrae do a lot of heavy lifting! Your lower back is where your spine connects to your pelvis, bearing the weight of your upper body. This area experiences a lot of movement and stress, which may lead to wear, tear and injuries.
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What Tests Can Help Determine The Cause Of Kidney Pain
In order to pinpoint a cause, a number of tools are available to help your healthcare provider make a diagnosis:
- Urinalysis: This test checks for the presence of blood, white blood cells , proteins and certain molecules that are linked to various kidney disorders.
- Imaging tests:Ultrasound or a CT scan can provide images of the physical structure of the kidneys and urinary tract. It can also tell your healthcare provider if stones are present and determine if urine flow is adequate.
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What Are The Kidneys And Urinary Tract
The urinary tract is one of the systems that our bodies use to get rid of waste products. The kidneys are the part of the urinary tract that makes urine . Urine has salts, toxins, and water that need to be filtered out of the blood. After the kidneys make urine, it leaves the body using the rest of the urinary tract as a pathway.
When To Contact A Doctor
A person who is experiencing kidney pain should contact a doctor as soon as possible to find out what is causing it.
People must contact a doctor to diagnose and treat kidney pain. Receiving the correct treatment ensures that the kidneys do not become damaged, which can lead to kidney failure.
Doctors may order tests such as:
- urine tests, which can help them identify any infections
- imaging tests, such as CT or ultrasound scans
- cytology, which can help them identify cancer cells in the urine
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Kidney Pain: Causes Why Kidneys Hurt And When To Seek Care
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Kidney pain can have many causes. It may be a sign of an infection, injury or another health problem, such as kidney stones. Because of where your kidneys are in your body, kidney pain is also often confused with back pain. Talk to your doctor to find out what is causing your kidney pain and to find the right treatment.
What Is The Treatment For A Kidney Infection
Kidney infections are treated with antibiotics. Your health care provider may tell you to take an antibiotic medicine that treats the most common types of infections, until your urine can be looked at to figure out the exact type of infection you have. Once your urine test results are available, your health care provider might tell you to take a different type of antibiotic, depending on the type of infection you have.
If you have a very serious infection, you may need to stay in the hospital to receive treatment.
If your kidney infection was caused by a problem with the shape of your urinary tract, you may need to have surgery to correct the problem and prevent future kidney infections.
Are Your Kidneys Weak
There are many factors in modern day life that can weaken a persons kidneys, even though that person might not have a diagnosable kidney disorder.
Your kidneys are made of delicate filters called nephrons, the tiny functional units of the kidneys. The nephrons filter and clean the blood. If the blood pressure or blood sugar is too high, though, these filters can be damaged and thus cant perform the kidneys duties.
Certain lifestyle habits can damage the nephrons of the kidneys by producing oxidative stress, inflammation, or high blood pressure.
If your kidneys are not as strong as they should be, there are clues that your body gives you. You just have to look for them.
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Hypertension And Kidney Health
Hypertension which is another name for high blood pressure is the No. 2 cause of chronic kidney disease in the United States. In fact, 80 percent to 85 percent of people with chronic kidney disease have hypertension.
Chronic kidney disease can cause hypertension likewise, hypertension can cause chronic kidney disease. Regardless of which came first, its vital to have blood pressure well-controlled and to take medications that help off-load pressure on the kidney.
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What Are Some Of The Causes Of Chronic Kidney Disease
Chronic kidney disease is defined as having some type of kidney abnormality, or “marker”, such as protein in the urine and having decreased kidney function for three months or longer.
There are many causes of chronic kidney disease. The kidneys may be affected by diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Some kidney conditions are inherited .
Others are congenital that is, individuals may be born with an abnormality that can affect their kidneys. The following are some of the most common types and causes of kidney damage.
Diabetes is a disease in which your body does not make enough insulin or cannot use normal amounts of insulin properly. This results in a high blood sugar level, which can cause problems in many parts of your body. Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney disease.
High blood pressure is another common cause of kidney disease and other complications such as heart attacks and strokes. High blood pressure occurs when the force of blood against your artery walls increases. When high blood pressure is controlled, the risk of complications such as chronic kidney disease is decreased.
Glomerulonephritis is a disease that causes inflammation of the kidney’s tiny filtering units called the glomeruli. Glomerulonephritis may happen suddenly, for example, after a strep throat, and the individual may get well again.However, the disease may develop slowly over several years and it may cause progressive loss of kidney function.
What Does It Feel Like When Your Kidneys Hurt
People often mistake kidney pain for back pain. But there are some key differences between kidney pain and how it feels compared to back pain.
Kidney pain vs back pain
Back pain usually affects the middle of your back, over your spine, and most commonly in the lower back. Spine-related issues can also cause back pain to sometimes radiate down your legs.
In comparison, kidney pain is typically located higher on your back and it often feels deeper. Most of the time, kidney pain symptoms occur under your ribs, to the right or left of your spine. Kidney pain may also radiate to other areas, such as your abdomen or groin. Sometimes, hip pain is confused with kidney pain, but hip pain is lower down in your back than kidney pain.
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Kidneys Are A Filter System
The main job of the kidneys is to remove waste from the blood and return the cleaned blood back to the body. Each minute about one litre of blood one-fifth of all the blood pumped by the heart enters the kidneys through the renal arteries. After the blood is cleaned, it flows back into the body through the renal veins.
Each kidney contains about one million tiny units called nephrons. Each nephron is made up of a very small filter, called a glomerulus, which is attached to a tubule. As blood passes through the nephron, fluid and waste products are filtered out. Much of the fluid is then returned to the blood, while the waste products are concentrated in any extra fluid as urine .
The urine flows through a tube called the ureter into the bladder. Urine passes from the bladder out of the body through a tube called the urethra. The kidney usually makes one to two litres of urine every day depending on your build, how much you drink, the temperature and the amount of exercise you do.
A healthy kidney can greatly increase its work capacity. With two healthy kidneys, each kidney performs 50 per cent of the normal kidney function. If one kidney is lost, the other kidney can enlarge and provide up to 75 per cent of the normal kidney function .
Nephrons: The Basic Functional Units Of Blood Filtration And Urine Production
Each kidney contains over 1 million tiny structures called nephrons. The nephrons are located partly in the cortex and partly inside the renal pyramids, where the nephron tubules make up most of the pyramid mass. Nephrons perform the primary function of the kidneys: regulating the concentration of water and other substances in the body. They filter the blood, reabsorb what the body needs, and excrete the rest as urine.
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What Do Kidneys Do
One of the main jobs of the kidneys is to filter the waste out of the blood. How does the waste get in your blood? Well, your blood delivers nutrients to your body. Chemical reactions in the cells of your body break down the nutrients. Some of the waste is the result of these chemical reactions. Some is just stuff your body doesn’t need because it already has enough. The waste has to go somewhere this is where the kidneys come in.
First, blood is carried into the kidneys by the renal artery . The average person has 1 to 1½ gallons of blood circulating through his or her body. The kidneys filter that blood about 40 times a day! More than 1 million tiny filters inside the kidneys remove the waste. These filters, called nephrons , are so small you can see them only with a high-powered microscope.
Your Kidneys & How They Work
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The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, each about the size of a fist. They are located just below the rib cage, one on each side of your spine.
Healthy kidneys filter about a half cup of blood every minute, removing wastes and extra water to make urine. The urine flows from the kidneys to the bladder through two thin tubes of muscle called ureters, one on each side of your bladder. Your bladder stores urine. Your kidneys, ureters, and bladder are part of your urinary tract.
The Kidneys Are Composed Of Three Main Sections
Each kidney consists of an outer renal cortex, an inner renal medulla, and a renal pelvis. Blood is filtered in the renal cortex. The renal medulla contains the renal pyramids, where urine formation takes place. Urine passes from the renal pyramids into the renal pelvis. This funnel-shaped structure occupies the central cavity of each kidney and then narrows as it extends out to join the ureter. Urine drains from the renal pelvis into the ureter.