by Aimee Wilcox, CPMA, CCS-P, CST, MA, MT, Director of Content
July 31st, 2014
People with kidney stones may suffer from severe abdominal pain, low back pain, painful urination, hematuria, nausea and vomiting while others with kidney stones, small enough to pass on their own, may have no symptoms at all.
There are several tools used to diagnose kidney stones:
Urinalysis can show the substances that form stones as well as any potential bacteria that may reveal an infectious process. Identifying the chemical makeup of a stone can help to limit potential future stones through diet changes.
Plain films of the abdomen can show the location of kidney stones, especially if they are large enough.
Blood tests may reveal any biochemical issues that may lead to kidney stones or kidney disease. Plain film x-rays of the abdomen:
CT scans use a combination of x-rays to create a three-dimensional (3-D) image of the kidneys. Sometimes contrast is used to better see any anomalies. Many times the CT can show the exact location of the stone(s) and any possible conditions that may have led to the development of it.
Due to the focus on the kidneys, providers may report a CT study as CT of the renals or kidneys. Because of this, you may find yourself looking for CT of the kidneys/renals in the codebook or in your encoder program and cannot locate it.
Take the proper steps and look carefully at the report. What is the reason for the CT? What anatomical locations are seen and documented in the CT? If you read the information carefully, you will find that CT of the Renals or Kidneys is actually CT of the Abdomen.