Kidney stones are crystallized material in the urine. These stones form in the kidneys or other parts of the urinary tract. Kidney stones may be made up of a variety of minerals in the blood. The most common are calcium, oxalate, or phosphate. Others stones may contain uric acid, struvite, and/or cystine.
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Some of the known causes of kidney stones in children include:
Factors that may increase your child’s chance of developing kidney stones include:
Occasionally, kidney stones do not cause symptoms, and they leave the body in the urine. Often a kidney stone can cause symptoms such as:
You will be asked about your child’s symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
Images of the kidneys and urinary tract may be taken with:
Treatment depends on the size and location of the kidney stone. Treatment may include:
For small kidney stones, having your child drink plenty of water will help the body pass the stone in the urine. A special cup may be provided to catch the stone when it passes so that it can be analyzed. If your child is having a hard time keeping fluids down, hospitalization may be needed to receive fluids through an IV.
Your child may be advised to take:
Surgery may be needed if the stone is:
Types of surgery include:
Once a child has had one kidney stone, more stones are likely. To help reduce your child's chance of future stones:
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Urology Care Foundation
The Kidney Foundation of Canada
Borghi L, Meschi T, et al. Dietary therapy in idiopathic nephrolithiasis. Nutr Rev. 2006;64:301-312.
Kidney stones. Cincinnati Children’s Hospital website. Available at: http://www.cincinnatichildrens.org/health/k/kidney-stones. Accessed January 29, 2021.
Kidney stones. National Kidney Foundation website. Available at: http://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/kidneystones.cfm. Accessed January 29, 2021.
Nephrolithiasis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114904/Nephrolithiasis. Accessed January 29, 2021.
6/23/2014 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillancehttp://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114904/Nephrolithiasis. Elderwy AA, Kurkar A, et al. Dissolution therapy versus shock wave lithotripsy for radiolucent renal stones in children: a prospective study. J Urol. 2014;191(5 Suppl):1491-1495.
Last reviewed March 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Chelsea Skucek, MSN, BS, RNC-NIC Last Updated: 1/28/2021