Ureteric calculus

Ureteric calculus, also known as ureter stone or ureteral stone. These are particularly types of kidney stones which have transferred from the kidneys to the other parts of the urinary system. 


Ureter is a tube -like structure which attaches the kidneys with the bladder. Width of the ureter is exactly similar to the width of the small veins. Most kidney stones are lodged in this particular part and cause severe pain. 


On the basis of the bigness and place, ureter calculus can cause severe pain, and these will also require medical attention if these are not getting passed through urine, causing stubborn hurt and vomiting or if these are related to infection or fever. 


Around nine percent of the population in the U.S is affected by the urinary tract 

stones. As per the statement of American Urological Association urinary tract 

stones are quite common. 


In this article we have tried to provide proper information about ureteric calculus, along with its system, causes and treatment procedures. Additionally, this article also includes some tips for preventing ureteric calculus. 


What is ureter calculus? 


Kidney stones are specifically a group of crystals which are particularly formed inside your kidneys. But these stones can be developed and move to any part of your urinary system such as bladder, ureters and urethra. 


Ureteric calculus is a particular group of kidney stones which are found inside any of the ureters. Ureters are particularly muscular which joins the kidneys to the bladder. 


In the kidneys stones get formed and later get passed into the ureter through urine from any of the kidneys. 


Few times, these stones are very small in size because of which they pass from your ureter to your bladder, and later leave your body in the form of urine in the process of urination. 


Sometimes, a few kidney stones are too big to pass through and get lodged in the ureter which can block the urine flow and lead to severe pain.


Symptoms of ureteric calculus 


The most observed symptoms of ureteral calculus is none other than severe pain.


It is possible that you may experience pain at your flank or lower abdomen, which is the place just below ribs at your back. Pain caused due to ureteric calculus can be even dull and mild or it can be severely painful. Pain caused due to ureteric calculus may also come and go and emanate to other parts of your body. 


Few more symptoms of ureteral calculus includes: 


  • Blood in urine. 
  • Uneven urination. 
  • Vomiting and nausea. 
  • Fever. 
  • Experience pain or uneasiness while the process of urination. 


If any of these symptoms is visible in you then you should consult your health care provider immediately. 


Causes of ureteric calculus


Ureteric calculus is formed from the crystals in your urine which group together. 

Generally they are formed in kidneys and later get passed into the ureter. 


All ureteric calculus is not made up of the same types of crystals. These ureteric calculus can be formed from different types of crystals, some of them were listed below: 


  • Uric acid: This is the type of crystals which get formed when the urine is highly acidic in nature. This mostly occurs  in male who are suffering from gout. 

  • Calcium: Calcium oxalate crystals are the most common types of crystals because of which most crystals are formed. Your risk of developing will be higher if you remain dehydrated for a long period  and consume oxalate rich foods on a daily basis. 

  • Cystine: Cytosine is  the least common type of crystals responsible for the stone formation. Particularly cystine crystals occur in people with a genetic disorder known as cystinuria. Cystine is caused because of the leakage of amino acids into the urine through the kidneys. 

  • Struvite: Struvite are the types of crystals which are mostly related with the chronic kidney disease or infection. It occurs mostly in women who have urinary tract infections (UTIs). 


Some factors which can be responsible for increasing the risk of development of ureteric calculus includes: 


  • Genetics: In case any of your biological parents, parents or siblings has or have ureteric calculus then you will be at the higher risk of development of ureteric calculus. 


  • Diet: Intake diet which is high in sodium (salt), high oxalate food and animal proteins can increase the risk of ureteric calculus development in your body. Some examples of high oxalate foods include tea, spinach, nuts and chocolate. Consumption of high amounts of citric acid can also increase the risk of  ureteric calculus in you. 


  • Specific medical conditions: You will be at the higher risk of ureteric calculus development if you have any of these medical conditions such as blockage of urinary tract, bowel disease, gout, urinary tract infection (UTIs), obesity and hyperparthysm. 


  • Dehydration: In case your body is not getting enough water then it will produce smaller amounts of urine which will be highly concentrated because salts present in your urine will nor dissolve properly and get hardened into the forms of crystals. 


Diagnosis methods for ureteric calculus


In case if you are experiencing pain at your lower abdomen, or observed blood in your urine then your health care provider will most probably suggest you some diagnostic imaging test for looking for the stones.


The two  most common type of diagnostic imaging test includes: 


  • An ultrasound: In this type of diagnostic imaging test high frequency sound waves are used to produce the correct image of parts inside of  your body. 


  • A computed tomography (CT) scan: A computed tomography is also known as (CT) scan. It is generally referred to as the best option for the detection of stones inside the urinary tract. It produces the correct image of parts inside your body by the help of rotating x-ray machines. 


By performing these two types of diagnostic imaging tests on you your health care provider will be able to determine the location and size of your stones. After knowing the size and the location of the stones it will be easier for your health care provider to develop a specific treatment plan for you. 


Treatment methods for ureteric calculus 


According to the research most of the cases of ureteric calculus get recovered by itself without any type of specific treatment. 


It is possible that some pain will be experienced by you while they pass out from the body in the form of urine. However, till you don’t have an infection or fever, you will nor have to do anything other intaking high amounts of water so that water can allow the stones to pass through urine. 


If the size of your stones are small then they can get passed more easily. 


Few stones, specifically which are bigger in size, sometimes get lodged into your ureter because it is the thinnest part of your urinary tract. After getting lodged into your ureter, ureteric calculus is able to cause critical pain and increase the chance of an infection development in your urinary tract. 


In case there are larger and broader in your body which cannot pass by their own then your health care provider will probably provide various types of treatment methods for ureteric calculus to you. 


They must suggest to you any of these treatment methods for the removal of ureteric calculus which cannot be passed by their own. 


  • Nephrostomy tube placement: with the help of interventional radiologist your pain will be temporarily relieved by locating this tube directly inside the kidneys from the back by just using sedation and a union of X-ray and ultrasound. Generally it is used when fever or any type of infection is caused along with the urinary obstruction by the stone. 


  • Shock wave lithotripsy: In this treatment method of ureteric calculus, focused shock waves are used for breaking down the stones into smaller segments so that they can pass through the urine and leave your body without any type of external help. 


  • Ureteral stent placement: Ureteral stent is a soft and small plastic tube placed inside the ureter around the stones, it helps the stones to get passed through the urine. This is a surgical procedure which provides a temporary solution. This treatment method is performed under local anesthesia. It contains less risk as compared with any other type of surgical procedure. 


  • Medical expulsive therapy: This therapy includes use of alpha blocker drugs for helping the stones to get past. But, according to the study performed in 2018 this therapy involves both risks and benefits equally. Alpha-blockers are the types of drugs which decrease the blood pressure, which can be useful for removing small, however, it also increases the risk of occurring  negative events.


Some ways for preventing the development of ureteric calculus


It is impossible to alter your family history of ureteric calculus, but there are some possible ways for preventing the development of ureteric calculus such as: 


  • Avoiding oxalate rich food: Consuming foods high in oxalate can result in ureteric calculus in the urinary tract. It will be good for you if you avoid oxalate rich food from your diet. 


  • Reduce protein and salt intake: If you are consuming high amounts of animal protein and salt then you should definitely reduce it because they can be responsible for increasing acid levels in your urine. 


  • Stay always hydrated: If you are at higher risk of ureteric calculus development then try to drink at least 3 liters of water per day. Drinking plenty of water will increase your urine output and prevent it from getting concentrated. 


  • Maintain calcium balance: It will be good for you to maintain calcium balance in your body to prevent the development of ureteric calculus. 




Ureteric calculus is specifically a type of kidney stone which has transferred from the kidneys to the ureter of your. Ureter is a muscular tube-like structure which is the narrow passage for the urine to flow from your kidneys to your bladder. 


Particularly there are two ureters, one for each kidney present in every human. All the stones get formed in the kidneys and further move to your ureter. However, they can also be produced in your ureter. 


In case you are at higher risk of ureteric calculus development then you should always stay hydrated and avoid consuming high oxalate foods, calcium, sodium (salt) and animal proteins. 


If you have started feeling pain at your back or lower abdomen, or starting noticing blood in your urine then you should take concern from your healthcare provider. Ureteric calculus can cause severe pain,however there are few treatment methods for curing it completely. 


Back to Top