Would CT scan show gallstones?
I had a CT scan of my kidneys, and the after reading the scan the doctor told me that my kidneys were fine but that I have gallstones. I’ve never had any symptoms from them or anything. So I assume they’re pretty obvious, since the doctor wasn’t looking for the. I didn’t see the scans, though, so I don’t really know.
Actually most gallstones are isodense with bile, and as a result, they are poorly visualized by CT. CT can catch well-calcified stones but that is not the majority. It does have fair sensitivity in catching signs of inflammation around the gallbladder and so cholecystitis can often be suggested by a CT scan, though ultrasound remains the preferred imaging modality in that scenario as well. For what it’s worth, the transient or periodic symptoms of gallstones (biliary colic due to cholelithiasis), which aren’t complicated by cholecystitis or cholangitis, are generally fairly easily distinguished from pyelonephritis or kidney infections.