Calculus, renal: A stone in the kidney (or lower down in the urinary tract). Also called a kidney stone. The stones themselves are called renal caluli. The word “calculus” (plural: calculi) is the Latin word for pebble.
Renal stones are a common cause of blood in the urine and pain in the abdomen, flank, or groin. Kidney stones occur in 1 in 20 people at some time in their life.
The development of the stones is related to decreased urine volume or increased excretion of stone-forming components such as calcium, oxalate, urate, cystine, xanthine, and phosphate. The stones form in the urine collecting area (the pelvis) of the kidney and may range in size from tiny to staghorn stones the size of the renal pelvis itself.
The cystine stones (below) compared in size to a quarter (a U.S. $0.25 coin) were obtained from the kidney of a young woman by percutaneous nephrolithotripsy (PNL), a procedure for crushing and removing the dense stubborn stones characteristic of cystinuria.
The pain with kidney stones is usually of sudden onset, very severe and colicky (intermittent), not improved by changes in position, radiating from the back, down the flank, and into the groin. Nausea and vomiting are common.
Factors predisposing to kidney stones include recent reduction in fluid intake, increased exercise with dehydration, medications that cause hyperuricemia (high uric acid) and a history of gout.
Treatment includes relief of pain, hydration and, if there is concurrent urinary infection, antibiotics.
The majority of stones pass spontaneously within 48 hours. However, some stones may not. There are several factors which influence the ability to pass a stone. These include the size of the person, prior stone passage, prostate enlargement, pregnancy, and the size of the stone. A 4 mm stone has an 80% chance of passage while a 5 mm stone has a 20% chance. If a stone does not pass, certain procedures (usually done by a urology specialist) may be needed.
The process of stone formation is called nephrolithiasis or urolithiasis. “Nephrolithiasis” is derived from the Greek nephros- (kidney) lithos (stone) = kidney stone “Urolithiasis” is from the French word “urine” which, in turn, stems from the Latin “urina” and the Greek “ouron” meaning urine = urine stone.
Calefacient: 1. (noun) Anything that warms. 2. (noun) A substance that produces a feeling of warmth when it is applied to the body. 3. (adjective) Producing warmth; heating. From the Latin calefacere (to make warm), from calere (to be warm) + facere (to make).
Calf: The belly or fleshy hind part of the back of the leg below the knee. The calf is made up mainly of the gastrocnemius muscle. Pain in the calf is commonly caused by muscle strain, but can be caused by blood clots in veins of the legs.
- Calf bone
Calf bone: Familiar name for the fibula, the lateral (outside) and smaller of the two long bones in the lower leg. The other bone in the lower leg is the tibia. The tibia bears weight; the fibula does not. The fibula articulates (comes together to form a joint) with the tibia above and with the […]
Calicivirus: A group of viruses belonging to the family Caliciviridae that includes: Norovirus, a common cause of food poisoning and acute gastroenteritis in humans; Sapovirus, formerly called “Sapporo-like virus” (SLV) and sometimes referred to as classic or typical calicivirus, which can also cause gastroenteritis in humans; Vesivirus, the swine vesicular exanthema virus; and Lagovirus, the […]
Calipers: A metal or plastic tool similar to a compass used to measure the diameter of an object. The skin fold thickness in several parts of the body can be measured with skin calipers to determine the lean body mass.