Background Meaningful interpretation of changes in radiographic kidney stone burden requires understanding how radiographic recurrence relates to symptomatic recurrence and how established risk factors predict these different manifestations of recurrence. Methods We recruited first-time symptomatic stone formers from the general community in Minnesota and Florida. Baseline and 5-year follow-up study visits included computed tomography scans, surveys, and medical record review. We noted symptomatic recurrence detected by clinical care (through chart review) or self-report, and radiographic recurrence of any new stone, stone growth, or stone passage (comparing baseline and follow-up scans). To assess the prediction of different manifestations of recurrence, we used the Recurrence of Kidney Stone (ROKS) score, which sums multiple baseline risk factors. Results Among 175 stone formers, 19% had symptomatic recurrence detected by clinical care and 25% detected by self-report; radiographic recurrence manifested as a new stone in 35%, stone growth in 24%, and stone passage in 27%. Among those with a baseline asymptomatic stone (54%), at 5 years, 51% had radiographic evidence of stone passage (accompanied by symptoms in only 52%). Imaging evidence of a new stone or stone passage more strongly associated with symptomatic recurrence detected by clinical care than by self-report. The ROKS score weakly predicted one manifestation—symptomatic recurrence resulting in clinical care (c-statistic, 0.63; 95% confidence interval, 0.52 to 0.73)—but strongly predicted any manifestation of symptomatic or radiographic recurrence (5-year rate, 67%; c-statistic, 0.79; 95% confidence interval, 0.72 to 0.86). Conclusions Recurrence after the first stone episode is both more common and more predictable when all manifestations of recurrence (symptomatic and radiographic) are considered.
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