The kidneys are a kind of filter, the main function of which is to remove fluids, salts, toxins and metabolic end products from the body. The life and health of a person depends on the stable work of a paired organ, therefore, from time to time, it is necessary to undergo an examination in order to identify or exclude various problems.
One of the simplest and at the same time informative methods for diagnosing kidney problems is a general urinalysis. It is prescribed primarily to assess the work of the urinary system and to understand whether a person needs an in-depth examination. The analysis requires an average portion of urine collected in the morning in a sterile container. The study allows not only to check the functioning of the kidneys, but also to exclude some other diseases, such as diabetes.
If there are deviations in the general analysis of urine, the doctor will prescribe an in-depth examination. It may include urine analysis according to Nechiporenko, Zimnitsky and Reberg's test. The first study reveals infectious and inflammatory diseases of the kidneys, the second shows the total amount of urine per day and its density. A third test can diagnose damage to the kidney tissue.
You can also check the kidneys using a biochemical blood test. The most important indicators are urea and creatinine. A deviation from the norm may indicate impaired renal excretory function and even renal failure.
Another important study, which, like a general urine test, it is advisable to undergo preventive measures at least once a year, is an ultrasound scan. It can be used to determine the size and position of the kidneys, the structure of their tissues, the presence of cysts, tumors and stones. In addition, if a Doppler study is performed during an ultrasound scan, data on the state of renal blood flow can be obtained.
If any abnormalities are found on the ultrasound examination, the doctor may suggest to undergo magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography. With the help of these procedures, it is possible to identify foci of lesion and inflammation of the kidneys, as well as exclude or confirm tumor formations.
In case of severe disorders in the work of the kidneys, studies such as intravenous urography and antegrade pyelography are prescribed. In both the first and second cases, a contrast agent is injected into the body, and then X-rays are taken to assess the rate of contrast elimination from the body. Also, if necessary, a radioisotope study can be carried out.