Renal colic

Last revised by Dr Daniel J Bell on 17 Mar 2018

Renal colic (also known as ureteric colic) refers to a pattern of abdominal pain most commonly caused by ureteric calculi. The pain (usually unilateral) is felt in the loin radiating down to the groin and is typically colicky (i.e. coming in waves) corresponding to peristalsis or spasm of the ureter. While the term really only directly applies to pain symptomatology, it is often used synonymously by patients and health professionals alike to imply the specific pathology of ureteric calculus, despite the fact there are other potential causes for renal colic (e.g. blood clot, sloughed papilla, sickle cell disease). 

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