Q. What is the difference between nephrolithiasis and soft tissue calcification?

Answered by
Dr. Krishna Somani
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Sep 22, 2016 and last reviewed on: Aug 27, 2020

Hi doctor,

The findings of my 12 year old daughter's x-ray showed a cluster of 3 mm density overlying the right kidney, which may represent soft tissue calcification versus nephrolithiasis. I would like to get a clear understanding of the difference between soft tissue calcification and nephrolithiasis. Thank you



Welcome to

  • Nephrolithiasis means kidney stones and soft tissue calcification means any part of renal parenchyma gets high deposits of calcium and show up in x-ray.
  • I want to know the reason for x-ray done.
  • Is she having pain in the flank or burning sensation in urine or fever or vomiting or any other urinary complaints? If yes, then we should straight away do an ultrasound to confirm these findings.

For further information consult a nephrologist online -->

Thank you doctor,

She was having trouble with constipation and thus the x-ray was taken. We are seeing a nephrology specialist next week. She has not had blood in urine or burning sensation or fever. To confirm, are you saying that these two are separate things?



Welcome back to

  • Yes, soft tissue calcification can be due to many causes like nephrocalcinosis (calcium deposit in kidney) or some calcified papillae or some medications or in very initial stages of stone formation.
  • X-ray is a very preliminary study to differentiate all this. It can only confirm a well formed stone of size more than around 5 mm to 10 mm and above.
  • It will be a good idea to visit a nephrologist for full evaluation. A plain CT KUB (scan of kidneys, ureters and bladders) will settle all queries.
  • But, considering her age, we also have to think about radiation exposure. Hence, I recommend a simple USG KUB.

Revert back with the report to a nephrologist online -->

Was this answer helpful?


Same symptoms doesn’t mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Related Questions:
What changes have to be done to control BP?

.. check her kidney for creatinine? Is it high? What is her weight? Yes, blood pressure treatment is not a one day job. For her age, I will target blood pressure around 140/90 mmHg. Occasionally, 150 mmHg of blood pressure is fine. Control ...   Read full

How to clear kidney stones?

Hi doctor, I have a kidney stone in my right kidney and I have abdominal pain ... I need to know the full details of your kidney stone like stone size, location, et...   Read full

I get recurrent kidney stones with stomach pain. Kindly advise.

I am also suffering from repeated kidney stones at the left side and also in my both arms, I feel some bulges sort of thing ...   Read full


Also Read Answers From:

ideaComprehensive Medical Second Opinion.Submit your Case

Also Read

Relation Between Enamel Hypoplasia and Dental Caries
Enamel hypoplasia is due to incomplete or defective formation in the organic matrix, which forms the first layer of the ...  Read more»
Methods to Increase Breast Milk Production
Several measures can help mothers in increasing their breast milk production. Find out the correct way to breastfeed thr...  Read more»
Ingrown Hair: How Can You Prevent and Treat It
An ingrown hair is a hair strand that grows back into the skin after a clean shave or waxing. It appears as a raised dar...  Read more»

Ask your health query to a doctor online?

Ask a Nephrologist Now

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.

Disclaimer: No content published on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website. Read our Editorial Process to know how we create content for health articles and queries.