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Kidney Calcification

I am a 37 year old female.  This past Sunday I went to the emergency room for severe lower back pain on the right hand side.  They assumed it was a kidney stone and did a CT scan.  Well, the results were they saw a kidney stone the size of a marble on the left side but found nothing on the right side.  They also checked my urine and they stated there was no infection.  The following Monday I made an appointment with a urologist.  He was able to view my CT scan fromt the hospital and indicated that I had a 2mm kidney stone in my left kidney and also a renal calcification in the meaty part of the kidney.  He stated this was not a kidney stone and wanted more tests to rule out cancer.  He indicated it was more like a cyst.  I also got the results of my urine test and found out I have a bladder infection today.  Today I had a CT scan with and without the contrast dye.  My question is...what is a renal calcification???  From what I read on the internet it sounds like a kidney stone but the doctor indicated it was not a kidney stone and is approx 7mm by 10mm.  I am a smoker, overweight and also my aunt and grandmother had kidney cancer.
I also had to make an apointment with my family doctor because of pain in my upper right stomach under my ribs and pain in the middle of my back.  He thinks it is the gallbladder and I will have tests this week.  I think that may have been the cause of the pain in the beginning.  
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I had a CT scan done today.  The results were normal except for a focal area of calcification along the anterior aspect of the left kidney (4mm).  There was also a minimal prominence of the renal collecting system.  What does this mean?  Should a person do something about this?  I had the CT scan for lower abdominal pain and microscopic blood in the urine.  
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"Disorders of calcium metabolism, such as hypercalcemia and hypercalciuria, may induce the formation of calcium renal stones and deposition of calcium salts in the renal parenchyma (nephrocalcinosis). The extensive deposition of calcium may lead to chronic tubulointerstitial disease and renal insufficiency. The first signs of damage induced by hypercalcemia are seen at the intracellular level, in the tubular epithelial cells. This results in mitochondrial distortion, and eventually, calcium deposits can be demonstrated within the mitochondria, the cytoplasm, and the basement membrane.

Calcified cellular debris results in occlusion of the tubules, leading to obstructive atrophy of the nephron, nonspecific inflammation, and interstitial fibrosis. Impaired urine drainage through calcified tubules may result in areas of cortical atrophy leading to scared cortices. Functional abnormality of urine concentration is the earliest detectable renal change. This effect is related to decreased chloride transport in the ascending thick segment of the nephron.

Other defects of tubular function, such as tubular acidosis and salt-losing nephritis, may also occur. The continuing and unchecked deposition of calcium eventually leads to chronic renal insufficiency. Nephrocalcinosis may be complicated by renal stone formation, which adds another element to the causation of renal insufficiency secondary to an obstructive uropathy. The histologic findings include calcium phosphate or calcium oxalate crystal deposits that mainly appear in the renal interstitium, but deposits may also be seen within the renal tubules. Special stains, such as von Kossa and Pizzolato stains, can be used to specifically depict these deposits"
"CT is said to be the most sensitive modality in the diagnosis of nephrocalcinosis. CT depicts nephrocalcinosis at an early stage of the disease, it provides a better picture of the density and extent of nephrocalcinosis, and it may depict other changes such as renal cysts."

Nephrocalcinosis can sometimes be mistaken for renal calculi. Both are forms of renal calcification.

Pain under the ribs that may feel like a stab on deep inspiration could be related to the gallbladder. Depending on the extent of the disorder, the decision to treat medically or surgically can be inferred.

Do keep us posted on your doubts and progress.
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Southwest , MI
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