Intended for healthcare professionals


Investigating renal colic . . . and other stories

BMJ 2020; 368 doi: (Published 16 January 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;368:m52

Renal colic

A study in the US tracked more than 50 000 adults aged 18 to 64 who presented to an emergency department with renal colic (JAMA Netw Open doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.16454). Although more than three quarters were investigated by computed tomography, fewer than 1 in 10 underwent any sort of urological procedure within the first month. Most were rapidly discharged and only 1 in 20 returned to hospital within the first week. These data imply that a large proportion of patients with renal colic pass their stone spontaneously and raise questions about the need for …

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