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Normal function, kidney stones, and renal colic

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The goal of this newsletter is to provide you with enough information to be useful, but not more than can be learned within the busy schedule of a health care worker. You’ll find anatomy charts, Spanish health vocab, occasional feedback from subscribers, and more! Feel free to read them now and save them for later use such as with a patient or as a study guide for coursework.

anatomy of the kidney

kidneys, urniary bladder, ureter, urethra

Kidney — Riñón

  • Cortex
  • Medulla
  • Mayor and minor calyces
  • Renal pelvis
  • Renal hilum
  • Renal artery
  • Ureteropelvic junction
  • Ureter
  • Urinary bladder
  • Urethra
  • Kidney stone, Renal Calculus or Nephrolith: The formation of a solid piece of material within the kidneys from mineral substances in the urine.
  • Renal colic: A very intense and sudden abdominal pain generally produced by the presence of a kidney stone within the urinary tract.
  • Hydronephrosis: The distension and dilation of the renal pelvis and calyces, usually caused by obstruction of the free flow of urine from the kidney.
  • Corteza
  • Médula
  • Cálices mayores y menores
  • Pelvis renal
  • Hilio renal
  • Arteria renal
  • Unión uretero-piélica
  • Uréter
  • Vejiga urinaria
  • Uretra
  • Cálculo Renal, Litiasis Renal o Nefrolitiasis: La formación de un trozo de material sólido dentro del riñón a partir de sustancias minerales en la orina.
  • Cólico nefrítico: Dolor abdominal repentino de gran intensidad que se produce generalmente por la presencia de cálculo en el tracto urinario.
  • Hidronefrosis: La distensión y dilatación de la pelvis renal y los cálices, por lo general causada por la obstrucción del libre flujo de la orina desde el riñón.

kidney with stones

Kidney stones

A kidney stone is usually caused by the build up of certain substances in the urine. Dehydration, high dietary intake of animal protein and sodium, and other underlying conditions can attribute to their formation.

Their passage through the urinary tract can be asymptomatic if they are small enough, or can cause renal colic, which is considered one of the strongest pain sensations known to man.

A renal colic is an intense, sudden, and intermittent pain that usually originates in the flank or lumbar area and radiates towards the groin.

The experience is said to be traumatizing due to the pain, and the passing of blood, blood clots, and pieces of the stone.

Other associated symptoms include: nausea, vomiting, fever, blood in the urine or hematuria, pus in the urine, and painful urination.

If stones grow to sufficient size (usually at least 3 millimeters) they can cause blockage of the ureter. This inability to pass urine from the kidney to the bladder will lead to hydronephrosis or hydroureteronephrosis which is the distensión and dilation of the renal pelvis, calyces, and uréter.

The increase in pressure caused by the accumulation of urine that can not be ejected causes kidney enlargement and thinning of renal parenchyma. If the situation persists for a long time, the kidney atrophies and loses its functional capacity.

kidney stones in ureter

Un cálculo renal generalmente es causado por la acumulación de ciertas sustancias en la orina. La deshidratación, alta ingesta dietética de proteína animal y sodio, y otras condiciones subyacentes pueden atribuir a su formación.

Su paso por el tracto urinario puede ser asintomática, si son lo suficientemente pequeños, o puede causar cólicos nefríticos, que se considera uno de los dolores más fuertes conocidos por el hombre.

Un cólico renal es un dolor intense, repentino, e intermitente que por lo general se origina en el flanco o la región lumbar y se irradia hacia la ingle.

La experiencia suele ser traumatizante debido al dolor, y el paso de sangre, coágulos de sangre y trozos del cálculo.

Otros síntomas asociados incluyen: náuseas, vómitos, fiebre, sangre en la orina o hematuria, pus en la orina y dolor al orinar.

Si las piedras crecen hasta un tamaño suficiente (por lo general al menos 3 milímetros) pueden causar la obstrucción del uréter. Esta incapacidad para evacuar la orina desde el riñón hasta la vejiga dará lugar a hidronefrosis o hidroureteronefrosis, lo cual es la distensión y dilatación de la pelvis renal, loscálices, y el uréter.

El aumento de presión causado por la acumulación de la orina que no se puede expulsar causa el agrandamiento del riñón y adelgazamiento del parénquima renal. Si la situación persiste durante mucho tiempo, el riñón se atrofia y pierde su capacidad funcional.

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Written by on March 1, 2016