CT Scan for Kidney Stones - Cost, Images and Report

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Aman Priya Khanna
Written by Sangeeta Sharma, last updated on 29 September 2023| min read
CT Scan for Kidney Stones - Cost, Images and Report

Quick Summary

  • A CT scan for kidney stones is a gold standard imaging test that uses X-rays to generate 2D images of the kidney.
  • The procedure is painless and takes about 30 minutes.
  • CT scans are accurate in detecting kidney stones and can help your doctor determine the best course of treatment.

Kidney stones are hard deposits of minerals like calcium in the kidneys that cause patients exces. However, the advent of diagnostic tests like CT scan have made it possible to help diagnose kidney stones effectively. To explain, a CT scan for kidney stones is a gold standard imaging test that uses X-rays to generate 2D images of the kidney. Thus, it successfully detects kidney stones.

If your doctor has ordered you to undergo a CT scan for kidney stones, you must learn about it beforehand to prepare for the test. This article will explain everything about CT scans for kidney stones, including the procedure, cost, side effects, benefits, and accuracy rate. Read the complete article to learn about CT scans for kidney stones. 

What is a CT Scan for Kidney Stones?

Computed tomography, abbreviated as CT scan (or CAT scan), is a medical imaging test that helps diagnose various diseases, including kidney stones. To inform a kidney stone is an accumulation of minerals, especially calcium, in the kidneys. Left untreated, they lead to terrible aches and may cause several renal disorders. 

  1. A CT scan for kidney stones shows a detailed image of the kidney with the help of x-rays and computer technology. What happens exactly in a CT scan for kidney stones is that x-ray radiation moves circularly around the patient’s body. Thus creating numerous images of the kidney. Following that, the image is generated in 2D forms through computer technologies. 
  2. A CT scan for kidney stones diagnoses both kidney and bladder stones.
  3. In a CT scan for kidney stones, healthcare providers can also give ‘contrast dye’ to the patients. The role of the contrast dye is to help the kidneys look clearer in the CT scan. Generally, contrast dye is given in two forms: orally and through injection. 

Book Consultation

Need for CT scan for Kidney Stone

A CT (computed tomography) scan is an imaging test that can help diagnose and evaluate kidney stones. Here are some of the reasons why a CT scan may be needed for kidney stones:

  1. Accurate diagnosis: CT scan is one of the most reliable imaging methods for detecting kidney stones accurately.
  2. Detailed information: CT scan can provide detailed information about the size, location, number, and shape of the stones in the kidney and urinary tract.
  3. Identification of stone composition: CT scan can help identify the composition of the stones, which can help guide appropriate treatment plans.
  4. Detection of complications: CT scan can also detect other potential complications such as hydronephrosis, obstruction, and infection.
  5. Non-invasive: CT scan is a non-invasive imaging method that is fast and painless, making it a preferred option for patients with suspected kidney stones.
  6. Monitoring treatment: CT scan can help evaluate the effectiveness of treatment and monitor the progression of the disease over time.
  7. Necessary for complex cases: In some cases, other imaging methods, such as X-rays or ultrasounds, may not provide sufficient information, making a CT scan necessary.

Apart from that, there are many other reasons why a CT Scan for kidney stones might be needed. A few of them are as follows: 

  1. To check the effect and how the kidney medications are working.
  2. It might also be needed when other tests, such as ultrasound, fail to diagnose kidney stones. 

Preparation for a CT Scan for Kidney Stone

Patients must remember a few points before undergoing a CT scan for kidney stones. Some of these are as follows:

  1. Inform your doctor: Inform your doctor about any medical conditions, allergies, or medications that you are taking. They may advise you to stop taking certain medications or adjust the dosage.
  2. Fasting: In some cases, you may be required to fast for a few hours before the CT scan. Your doctor will inform you if fasting is necessary.
  3. Contrast dye: Your doctor may ask you to drink a contrast dye before the CT scan. This dye can help highlight the urinary tract and kidney stones on the scan.
  4. Hydration: Your doctor may advise you to drink plenty of fluids before the CT scan. This can help flush out any remaining stones and provide better imaging results.
  5. Clothing: Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing to the CT scan appointment. Avoid wearing jewelry or metal objects as they can interfere with the scan.
  6. Avoid wearing jewellery or any metal objects: Remove any jewellery or ornaments before undergoing the scan as it may alter the results of the scan.
  7. Arrival time: Arrive at the hospital or imaging center ahead of the scheduled appointment time to complete any paperwork or administrative tasks.
  8. Inform the staff: Inform the CT scan staff about any concerns you may have regarding the procedure. They can provide additional information and address any concerns you may have.

CT Scan for Kidney Stones Procedure

A CT scan for kidney stones only takes 15 to 30 minutes to complete the procedure.

When the patient visits the laboratory, the lab technician instructs them carefully about the whole CT scan for the kidney stones procedure.  Here are the general steps involved in a CT scan for kidney stones procedure:

  1. Upon arrival at the hospital or imaging centre, you will be asked to check in and complete any necessary paperwork.
  2. You may be asked to change into a hospital gown before the scan to avoid any interference from clothing.
  3. Depending on the specific type of CT scan being performed, you may be asked to drink a contrast dye before the procedure. This helps highlight the urinary tract and kidney stones on the scan.
  4. You will be positioned on a table that slides into the CT scanner. You will be asked to lie still during the scan.
  5. Following that, the narrow table moves into the tunnel. And the x-ray starts capturing several images of the kidney. Computer technology converts those images into their 2D forms. The CT scanner will take multiple images of your kidney and urinary tract. The images will be sent to a computer to be analyzed by a radiologist.
  6. Once the scan is complete, you will be able to resume normal activities immediately. Your doctor will inform you of the next steps based on the scan results.
  7. Follow up with your doctor to discuss the scan results and any necessary treatment plans.

What to expect after a CT scan for Kidney Stone?

CT scans are gold-standard tests used to diagnose kidney stones in the body. When the CT scan for kidney stones is completed, the you can expect the following:

  1. Resume normal activities: You will be able to resume your normal activities immediately after the scan. You may be advised to stay in the hospital for at least half an hour to ensure you are well. It is usually advised if you have taken contrast dye for a CT scan.
  2. Contrast dye: If you were given a contrast dye, you may be advised to drink plenty of fluids to help flush the dye out of your system.
  3. Results: The results of the CT scan will be sent to your doctor, who will discuss them with you during your follow-up appointment.
  4. Treatment: Depending on the results, your doctor may recommend a course of treatment, such as medication, dietary changes, or surgical intervention.
  5. Follow-up: Your doctor may schedule a follow-up appointment to monitor your condition and adjust treatment plans if necessary.
  6. Side effects: In rare cases, some people may experience side effects from the contrast dye, such as an allergic reaction. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any symptoms such as hives, swelling, or difficulty breathing.
  7. Further testing: If the CT scan did not provide sufficient information, your doctor may recommend additional tests such as an ultrasound or MRI.

Interpretation of the CT Scan Report

A CT scan is a commonly used diagnostic tool to identify the presence and characteristics of kidney stones. However, understanding the results of a CT scan report can be challenging without medical expertise. This section will discuss the interpretation of a CT scan report for kidney stones and what patients can expect during the diagnostic process. A CT scan report for kidney stones typically includes the following information:

  1. Presence of stones: The report will indicate whether or not kidney stones are present. If stones are found, the report will describe their size, shape, location, and number.
  2. Degree of obstruction: The report will describe the degree of obstruction caused by the stones, such as partial or complete blockage of the urinary tract. Obstruction can cause pain, infection, and other complications.
  3. Hydronephrosis: This refers to kidney swelling due to the buildup of urine caused by an obstruction. The report will indicate whether hydronephrosis is present and its severity.
  4. Other abnormalities: The CT scan may also identify other kidney abnormalities, such as cysts, tumours, or structural anomalies.
  5. Impression and Recommendation: The report will summarise the findings and provide an overall impression of the patient's condition. This may include recommendations for further testing or treatment.

It's important to note that a CT scan report should be interpreted by a qualified healthcare professional who can consider the patient's medical history and symptoms. A radiologist will prepare the report, but the patient's primary care physician or specialist will usually review and interpret the findings.

Accuracy of CT scan for Kidney Stones

CT scans are one of the most accurate imaging tests for diagnosing kidney stones. Moreover, it can help diagnose many kidney disorders that other medical tests cannot detect. 

According to an article published in PubMed Central, CT scans for the kidney detects 95% of the kidney, bladder, and ureteric stones. Hence, a CT scan can detect most kidney stones. 

Not only kidney stones but a CT scan for kidney stones can also help determine other medical conditions of the kidneys, such as:

  1. Tumours
  2. Lesions
  3. Polycystic Kidney Diseases
  4. Hydronephrosis — accumulation of fluid

Risks of CT scan for Kidney Stones

Although a CT scan for kidney stones is considered a safe imaging test, they still have certain risks. A few of them are given below:

  1. Radiation Exposure: A CT scan for kidney stones exposes the patient to radiation. Hence, if the patient has undergone numerous CT scans for kidney stones in the past, it can increase their risk of cancer. 
    1. According to FDA, 1 in 2000 people are prone to developing severe cancer if they undergo a  CT scan with a potent dosage of 10 millisieverts. 
    2. Nonetheless, healthcare professionals can provide a low-dose CT scan for kidney stones to help minimise the risk of cancer development in patients. 
    3. Radiation from a CT scan for kidney stones can harm a pregnant woman and her unborn baby. It may also cause underdevelopment in the newborn baby. Therefore, it’s always better for pregnant women to undergo an ultrasound rather than a CT scan for kidney stones.
  2. Contrast Dye: The contrast dye given orally or by injection during a CT scan for kidney stones may produce allergic reactions, such as nausea, vomiting, mild urticaria, pallor, and laryngeal oedema, in some patients.
    1. In extreme cases, it may also threaten a patient’s life by causing pulmonary oedema, cardiac arrhythmias or arrest, and circulatory collapse. Hence, it’s best to inform the healthcare provider if one is allergic to ‘contrast dye’ or other such substances.  
  3. Kidney Damage: Although it rarely happens, a contrast dye may lead to kidney damage especially if a patient already has renal orders.  Hence, patients must inform their healthcare provider even the minute details about their health to prevent any such damage. 

CT Scan for Kidney Stones Cost

The cost of the CT scan for kidney stones in India range between ₹ 1,500 to ₹ 6,000. Here is a list of estimated starting costs for CT scan for kidney stones in different cities in India:


Cost of CT Scan for Kidney Stones

Delhi  ₹ 2,000 to ₹ 5,000
Noida ₹ 1,500 to ₹ 5,000
Jaipur ₹ 1,500 to ₹ 4,500
Mumbai  ₹ 2,500 to ₹ 5,500
Kolkata  ₹ 2,000 to ₹ 3,400
Chennai ₹ 2,000 to ₹ 3,500

The CT scan for kidney stones cost may vary depending on several factors including:

  1. Facility: CT scans performed in clinics/ centres are cheaper than those for kidney stones in a hospital. 
  2. Location: Costs also differ according to the locations of the CT scan centres and hospitals. Generally, hospitals and centres in urban areas charge more than those in rural areas. 
  3. Type of CT Scan for kidney stones: A CT scan for kidney stones with a contrast dye is more expensive than a CT scan for kidney stones without it. 
  4. Insurance policy: If the patient has insurance coverage for a CT scan, he can receive the CT scan for kidney stones free of cost or in lesser amounts. 
  5. Urgency: If the patient needs to undergo a CT scan for kidney stones urgently, he might have to pay additional charges for it. 


Kidney stones are calcium deposits in the kidneys. If not treated in time, they cause severe pain and health complications. Hence, you must not delay their treatment. However, kidney stones are asymptomatic. On this account, a CT scan for kidney stones is vital to help diagnose the kidney stones at the earliest. 

With the help of x-ray beams, the CT scan creates images of the kidney and bladder. Thereupon detecting the kidney stones. What’s best is that the accuracy rate of CT scans for kidney stones is 95%. Meaning they can diagnose even the smallest stones.

If you or your loved ones have symptoms of kidney stones, talk to your doctor and get a CT scan done today. You can also talk to HexaHealth experts to learn about CT scans for kidney stones. The first consultation call is free of cost. Register right now. 

Frequently Asked Questions

We need a CT Scan for Kidney Stones diagnosis because they detect 95% of kidney stones with their x-ray and computer technology. Moreover, they also help diagnose small stones, which go unnoticed in other medical imaging tests. 


The cost of a CT scan for kidney stones varies in India. Generally, CT scans for kidney stones in India cost between ₹ 1,500 to ₹ 6,000. 


A physician, along with a radiologist, can successfully analyse the CT scan images for kidney stones. You must not interpret ct scan images and conclude any results on your own. 


CT scans can detect even the slightest stones present in the kidney. Therefore, CT scans are more accurate than ultrasound for diagnosing kidney stones.


CT Scan for kidney stone costs in Hyderabad varies from ₹ 3,400 to ₹ 6,000. This cost can vary based on several factors such as the location, patient’s age, health condition of the patient and so on.


CT scan helps detect even the smallest kidney stones in the kidney. However, a CT scan is not mandatory. In fact, your healthcare professional may ask you first to undergo an ultrasound for a kidney stone diagnosis. 


CT scans for kidney stones can help detect 95% of kidney, bladder, and ureteric stones. They are helpful in detecting the slightest of kidney stones. 


A CT scan for kidney stones takes 15 minutes. However, it may take an hour if you consume contrast dye before the test.  


Not all but most kidney stones can be seen on a CT scan. With that said, a CT scan can detect 95% of kidney stones.  


CT scans for kidney stones are one of the most reliable imaging tests. They detect 95% of renal stones. Not only that, but they can also help detect other kidney disorders, such as lesions, hydronephrosis, and tumours. CT scans detect even the tiniest kidney stones that often go unnoticed in other imaging tests.  


Generally, a low-dose CT scan without contrast dye is used for detecting kidney stones. 


A urologist may order a CT scan for kidney stones if they:

  1. Notice any signs and symptoms of kidney stones.
  2. Want to check the functioning of the patient’s kidneys and bladder.

No. You should not worry because a CT scan has no side effects. The only risk involved with CT scans is that they carry radiation exposure. However, it won’t affect you if you don’t undergo CT scans now and then. 


No. A CT scan isn’t always mandatory. Ultrasound can also detect kidney stones. Nevertheless, you can’t choose a test yourself. Your healthcare provider will advise you on one, depending on your health condition.  


The best test to detect kidney stones is a CT scan. It helps detect tiny stones in the kidney. Having that said, a CT scan diagnoses 95% of the renal and bladder stones. 


Following are the things to keep in mind before undergoing a CT Scan test for kidney stones:

  1. Never wear jewellery.
  2. Avoid eating for three hours before the test (if you will take contrast dye).
  3. Inform your doctor if you’re allergic to any medications.

Yes. A CT scan of the abdomen can help detect kidney stones. Along with that, it can also diagnose lesions, abscesses, tumours, and appendicitis. 


If your healthcare professional orders a CT scan with contrast dye, you must not eat for at least 3 hours before the test. However, you don’t have to follow such rules if your CT scan procedure does not involve contrast dye. 


The CT scans result may take 24 hours. However, the healthcare providers may call you before 24 hours for the result if they detect something serious. 


You should expect the following points after getting a CT scan test for kidney stones:

  1. You’ll be asked to get back to your daily clothes. 
  2. Further, you’ll be asked to sit in the hospital for some time in case you took contrast dye. 
  3. Last but not least, your healthcare provider will advise you to drink lots of fluid to help eliminate contrast dye from the body.

Here’s the CT scan for the kidney stones procedure:

  1. You’ll be asked to lie on a long narrow table.
  2. You may also be strapped to help you stay in a particular position.
  3. Following that, the narrow table moves into the tunnel. And the x-ray starts capturing several images of your kidney. Computer technology converts those images into their 2D forms.
  4. The healthcare provider will keep giving instructions through an intercom device during the procedure.

Updated on : 29 September 2023

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational and learning purposes only. It doesn't cover every medical condition and might not be relevant to your personal situation. This information isn't medical advice, isn't meant for diagnosing any condition, and shouldn't replace talking to a certified medical or healthcare professional.


Dr. Aman Priya Khanna

Dr. Aman Priya Khanna

MBBS, DNB General Surgery, Fellowship in Minimal Access Surgery, FIAGES

12 Years Experience

Dr Aman Priya Khanna is a well-known General Surgeon, Proctologist and Bariatric Surgeon currently associated with HealthFort Clinic, Health First Multispecialty Clinic in Delhi. He has 12 years of experience in General Surgery and worke...View More


Sangeeta Sharma

Sangeeta Sharma

BSc. Biochemistry I MSc. Biochemistry (Oxford College Bangalore)

6 Years Experience

She has extensive experience in content and regulatory writing with reputed organisations like Sun Pharmaceuticals and Innodata. Skilled in SEO and passionate about creating informative and engaging medical conten...View More

Expert Doctors

Dr. Anupam Bhargava


46+ Years




Dr. Gaurav Garg


21+ Years




NABH Accredited Hospitals

CDAS Super Speciality Hospital

CDAS Super Speciality Hospital

4.55/5( Ratings)
Malibu Town

Book Consultation

Latest Health Articles

Related Treatments