Increased urinary bladder volume improves the detectability of urinary stones at the ureterovesical junction in non-enhanced computed tomography (NECT)
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To evaluate the influence of the urinary bladder volume on the detectability of urolithiasis at the ureterovesical junction (UVJ) using a low-dose CT (LD-CT) with iterative reconstruction (IR) and a standard-dose CT (SD-CT) without IR in a large cohort.
Four hundred patients (278 males (69.5%), mean 44.6 ± 14.7 years) with urolithiasis at the UVJ were investigated either by an LD-CT with IR (n = 289, 72%) or an SD-CT without IR (n = 111, 28%) protocol. The detectability of distal urolithiasis was assessed by a dichotomous assessment (definite or questionable) by two radiologists in consensus and by a quantitative analysis of the signal density distribution across a line drawn parallel to the distal ureter. Based on the resulting graph, minimum/maximum density values and mean/maximum upslopes and downslopes were derived and calculated automatically. In all patients, the total bladder volume was calculated by a slice-by-slice approach on axial CT images.
Patients with definite stones showed significantly higher urinary bladder volumes compared to patients with questionable stones in both LD-CT and SD-CT (p < 0.01). These results were independent of stones’ length and patients’ BMI values. Using cutoffs of 92 ml for LD-CT and 69 ml for SD-CT, high positive predictive values/accuracy rates of 96%/85% (LD-CT) and 98%/86% (SD-CT) were observed to identify definite urinary stones.
Urinary bladder volume has a significant impact on the detectability of distal urolithiasis. Moderate bladder filling by pre-CT hydration with subsequent CT scan at the time of high urge to void increases the detectability of urinary stones at the UVJ in clinical routine.
• Urinary bladder volume significantly affects the detectability of distal urolithiasis
• Higher bladder volumes are associated with improved detectability of distal urinary stones
• Oral pre-CT hydration for urolithiasis is easily applicable and cost-effective
KeywordsUrolithiasis Radiation dosage Image reconstruction Spiral CT Diagnostic imaging
Body mass index
Negative predictive value
Positive predictive value
Receiver operating curve analysis
Transitional cell carcinoma
The authors state that this work has not received any funding.
Compliance with ethical standards
The scientific guarantor of this publication is Dr. Maxim Avanesov.
Conflict of interest
The authors of this manuscript declare no relationships with any companies whose products or services may be related to the subject matter of the article.
Statistics and biometry
One of the authors has significant statistical expertise.
Written informed consent was waived by the Institutional Review Board.
Institutional Review Board approval was obtained.
• Performed at one institution
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