Progress in the use of helical CT for imaging urinary calculi.
ABSTRACT Helical CT has become the preferred method to diagnose urinary calculi in patients presenting with abdominal or flank pain. Recent in vitro studies have shown that CT also can display the internal structure in stones with remarkable detail. Because some stones respond better to SWL than others, knowing stone structure at diagnosis could be helpful in choosing among treatment options. This paper examines the potential for CT to be used in this way. Older CT technology proved to be problematic, in that all studies using low-resolution CT will suffer from an artifact in which stone size affects apparent CT attenuation values. Thus, the observation that stones with low measured CT attenuation break more easily than stones with high attenuation could be attributable entirely to an artifact of stone size. Most stones are composed of more than one mineral, and heterogeneity of composition may contribute to variability in stone response to SWL. Older technology is not useful in evaluating stone composition, but current and emerging CT machines have sufficient resolution to determine the composition and structure of stones inside the patient, provided proper viewing windows are used. Continuing improvement in image resolution in helical CT promises to provide information about stone composition and structure that will ultimately lead to better care for patients with stone disease.
Article: Dual-energy computed tomography with advanced postimage acquisition data processing: improved determination of urinary stone composition.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The characterization of urinary calculi using noninvasive methods has the potential to affect clinical management. CT remains the gold standard for diagnosis of urinary calculi, but has not reliably differentiated varying stone compositions. Dual-energy CT (DECT) has emerged as a technology to improve CT characterization of anatomic structures. This study aims to assess the ability of DECT to accurately discriminate between different types of urinary calculi in an in vitro model using novel postimage acquisition data processing techniques. Fifty urinary calculi were assessed, of which 44 had >or=60% composition of one component. DECT was performed utilizing 64-slice multidetector CT. The attenuation profiles of the lower-energy (DECT-Low) and higher-energy (DECT-High) datasets were used to investigate whether differences could be seen between different stone compositions. Postimage acquisition processing allowed for identification of the main different chemical compositions of urinary calculi: brushite, calcium oxalate-calcium phosphate, struvite, cystine, and uric acid. Statistical analysis demonstrated that this processing identified all stone compositions without obvious graphical overlap. Dual-energy multidetector CT with postprocessing techniques allows for accurate discrimination among the main different subtypes of urinary calculi in an in vitro model. The ability to better detect stone composition may have implications in determining the optimum clinical treatment modality for urinary calculi from noninvasive, preprocedure radiological assessment.Journal of endourology / Endourological Society 03/2010; 24(3):347-54. · 1.75 Impact Factor