How kidney stone symptoms in children may differ from those in adults

Opinion
Video

"Pediatric patients do have a somewhat heterogeneous or variable presentation of their stone disease. A lot of that is dependent upon their age," says Katherine Chan, MD, MPH.

In this video, Katherine Chan, MD, MPH, discusses symptoms of kidney stones in children. Chan is vice chair for research, director of the Pediatric Kidney Stone Clinic, director of Pediatric Urology Research, and an associate professor of urology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Transcription:

What are the most common symptoms of kidney stones in children, and how might they differ from the presentation in adults?

Pediatric patients do have a somewhat heterogeneous or variable presentation of their stone disease. A lot of that is dependent upon their age. There tends to be different presentations in younger vs older children. And when I say older children, I'm primarily referring to teenagers. Teenagers tend to present more like adults in that they have sort of classic symptoms of what we call renal colic, which is severe flank pain, nausea, and vomiting and perhaps even blood in the urine. Interestingly, younger children may have a little bit of a different presentation, and that is partially related to the different causes of stones in kids. For example, they may present with irritability, vomiting, perhaps even nonspecific abdominal pain, urinary tract infections, and even microscopic blood in the urine. In addition, there are some differences in terms of the presentation based on age, gender, race, and even area of the country.

This transcription has been edited for clarity.

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