Unenhanced helical CT for renal colic—is the radiation dose justifiable?

E R Denton, A Mackenzie, T Greenwell, R Popert, S C Rankin
Clinical Radiology 1999, 54 (7): 444-7

AIM: The purpose of this study was to define and compare the radiation doses to patients undergoing computed tomography (CT) or intravenous urography (IVU) for the investigation of renal colic.

METHODS: The IVU dose was calculated from dose area product measurements for 27 abdominal films (AXR) and a review of 30 IVUs performed to investigate renal colic. The effective dose to a patient undergoing CT was calculated using anthropomorphic model data. Fifty patients underwent CT for the investigation of renal colic over a 6-week period.

RESULTS: CT following our protocol confers an average effective dose of 4.7 mSv. An IVU to investigate renal colic used 2.5 AXRs. A 3 film IVU gives an average dose of 1.5 mSv. Forty-two CT examinations were abnormal and the findings are described in the text.

CONCLUSION: Although unenhanced CT confers diagnostic advantages and avoids the risks of intravenous contrast medium, this should be considered against the increased radiation dose to the patient which in our institution is over three times that of an IVU.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"