OSCAR BURRIEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY OSCAR BURRIEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Kidney stones (calculi). Abstract image of a man in posterior view, showing stone-filled kidneys superimposed on his lower back. The renal arteries (red) and veins (blue) are seen branching to the kidneys. Kidney stones 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 kidneys often cause no symptoms. However, if they enter and block tubes of the ureter (which pass urine from kidneys to bladder) kidney stones can cause renal colic, severe pain, nausea and vomiting. Obstructed urine flow may lead to kidney damage and pyelonephritis.
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