ANDREW BEZEAR, REED BUSINESS PUBLISHING / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ANDREW BEZEAR, REED BUSINESS PUBLISHING / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Kidney and ureteral stones (calculi). They are caused by precipitation from solution of the substances in the urine and are mainly formed by calcium oxalate and/or phosphate. Small stones in the kidney often cause no symptoms (bottom). If they pass to the ureter (as shown at top right) they cause a renal colic accompanied by severe pain, nausea and vomiting. The image at top left shows a staghorn calculus, a kind of stone which completely fills the pelvis region of the kidney. The obstruction of the urine flow caused by the stones may lead to rapid kidney damage and severe infection known as pyelonephritis.
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