Unenhanced helical computed tomography vs intravenous urography in patients with acute flank pain: Accuracy and economic impact in a randomized prospective trial

Department of Radiology, University Hospital, Petersgraben 4, 4031, Basel, Switzerland.
European Radiology (Impact Factor: 4.01). 12/2003; 13(11):2513-20. DOI: 10.1007/s00330-003-1937-1
Source: PubMed


Unenhanced helical computed tomography (UHCT) has evolved into a well-accepted alternative to intravenous urography (IVU) in patients with acute flank pain and suspected ureterolithiasis. The purpose of our randomized prospective study was to analyse the diagnostic accuracy of UHCT vs IVU in the normal clinical setting with special interest on economic impact, applied radiation dose and time savings in patient management. A total of 122 consecutive patients with acute flank pain suggestive of urolithiasis were randomized for UHCT ( n=59) or IVU ( n=63). Patient management (time, contrast media), costs and radiation dose were analysed. The films were independently interpreted by four radiologists, unaware of previous findings, clinical history and clinical outcome. Alternative diagnoses if present were assessed. Direct costs of UHCT and IVU are nearly identical (310/309 Euro). Indirect costs are much lower for UHCT because it saves examination time and when performed immediately initial abdominal plain film (KUB) and sonography are not necessary. Time delay between access to the emergency room and start of the imaging procedure was 32 h 7 min for UHCT and 36 h 55 min for IVU. The UHCT took an average in-room time of 23 min vs 1 h 21 min for IVU. Mild to moderate adverse reactions for contrast material were seen in 3 (5%) patients. The UHCT was safe, as no contrast material was needed. The mean applied radiation dose was 3.3 mSv for IVU and 6.5 mSv for UHCT. Alternative diagnoses were identified in 4 (7%) UHCT patients and 3 (5%) IVU patients. Sensitivity and specificity of UHCT and IVU was 94.1 and 94.2%, and 85.2 and 90.4%, respectively. In patients with suspected renal colic KUB and US may be the least expensive and most easily accessable modalities; however, if needed and available, UHCT can be considered a better alternative than IVU because it has a higher diagnostic accuracy and a better economic impact since it is more effective, faster, less expensive and less risky than IVU. In addition, it also has the capability of detecting various additional renal and extrarenal pathologies.

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Available from: Sophie Dellas, Sep 28, 2014
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    • "However, their method of evaluating stone properties used relative measurements. NCCT is clearly superior to conventional plain abdominal radiography and IVP both in its capacity to aid in diagnosis of urolithiasis and in cost-effectiveness [9,10]. Several studies have identified stone attenuation as a predictor of SWL success [3-7]. "
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    ABSTRACT: To identify the parameters on noncontrast computed tomography (NCCT) that best predict the success of shock wave lithotripsy (SWL). We reviewed the records of 75 patients who underwent SWL for urinary calculi measuring 5 to 20 mm. Using NCCT images, we estimated the largest stone cross-sectional area and contoured the inner edge of the stone. Clinical outcome was classified as successful (stone-free or <4 mm in diameter) or failed (stone fragments, ≥4 mm). The impact of preoperative parameters was evaluated by univariate and multivariate analysis. The overall success rate was 73.3%. Average stone attenuation value, stone length, and stone cross-sectional area in the success and failure groups were 627.4±166.5 HU (Hounsfield unit) vs. 788.1±233.9 HU (p=0.002), 11.7±3.8 mm vs. 14.2±3.6 mm (p=0.015), and 0.31±0.17 cm(2) vs. 0.57±0.41 cm(2) (p<0.001), respectively. In the multivariate analysis, stone attenuation value was the only independent predictor of SWL success (p=0.023), although stone cross-sectional area had a tendency to be associated with SWL success (p=0.053). Patients were then classified into four groups by using cutoff values of 780 HU for stone attenuation value and 0.4 cm(2) for cross-sectional area. By use of these cutoff values, the group with a low stone attenuation value and a low cross-sectional area was more than 11.6 times as likely to have a successful result on SWL as were all other groups (odds ratio, 11.6; 95% confidence interval, 3.9 to 54.7; p<0.001). Stone attenuation value and stone cross-sectional area are good predictors of extracorporeal SWL outcome.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2013 · Korean journal of urology
    • "IVU and CECT provide the best and most complete detailed anatomical information though at the expense of some contrast toxicity.[1] However, in the contemporary era of endoscopic and minimally invasive surgery, these investigations may not necessarily be needed in all cases.[34] It has been suggested that failure to perform an IVU is not inevitably associated with a higher complication rate.[5] "
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    ABSTRACT: Functional evaluation of the renal unit has often been quoted as a standard practice for management of stone disease of the upper urinary tract. However, there is very little available evidence from the existing literature to directly support or refute this practice. Here we try to critically review the existing literature on related questions, put into perspective its clinical utility and attempt to rationalize the concept of functional evaluation in patients of renal stone disease in the contemporary era of minimally invasive surgery.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2012 · Indian Journal of Urology
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    • "The overall costs are much lower for CT KUB as it saves significant amount of time [4]. It is safer, as no contrast material is given, but the radiation dose is higher [4] [5]. Radiation exposure is still a major challenge in the use of CT for the diagnosis and follow-up of ureterolithiasis and obstruction [8]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives To evaluate the detection of clinically unsuspected pathologies using 64-slice multidetector computed tomography (CT) of the abdomen in patients with flank pain. The presence of significant incidental findings (those warranting immediate management) was also correlated with that of urolithiasis, to assess potential changes of management. Patients and methods The study included 899 patients undergoing CT in a 6-month period between June and December 2008. Patients who were referred from outside, with no medical record in the hospital where the study was conducted, and those who were lost to follow-up, were excluded. All of the CT examinations were reported after a radiology resident and a consultant radiologist with >4 years of experience evaluated the CT. Genitourinary and extra-genitourinary findings were assessed and divided into clinically significant or not. Results The overall incidence of additional and incidental findings was 14%. Besides urolithiasis and obstruction there were 34 (28%) genitourinary findings and 87 (72%) extra-genitourinary findings; most of the former were insignificant. Of the extra-genitourinary findings, significant diagnoses were documented in 34 cases. Conclusions Abdominal multidetector CT detects more incidental findings which are clinically significant.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2012 · Arab Journal of Urology
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