Contrast enhanced spiral computerized tomography in patients with chronic obstructive uropathy and normal serum creatinine: a single session for anatomical and functional assessment

Mohamed E Abo El-Ghar, Ahmed A Shokeir, Tarek A El-Diasty, Hoda F Refaie, Hossam M Gad, Ahmed B Shehab El-Dein
Journal of Urology 2004, 172 (3): 985-8

PURPOSE: We evaluated contrast enhanced spiral computerized tomography (CT) as a single session for the anatomical and functional assessment of patients with chronic obstructive uropathy and normal serum creatinine.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study included 65 patients with unilateral or bilateral chronic renal obstruction and normal serum creatinine. Five patients had bilateral obstruction and the remaining 60 had unilateral obstruction and a normal contralateral kidney. Therefore, the total number of renal units was 130, that is 70 obstructed and 60 normal. All patients underwent contrast enhanced spiral CT together with excretory urography (IVP) and Tc-mercaptoacetyltriglycine renal scan. CT was used to identify the cause of obstruction and selectively determine the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) of the 2 kidneys. The diagnostic accuracy of CT for identifying the cause of hydronephrosis was compared with that of IVP. Moreover, a correlation was made between CT GFR and isotope GFR.

RESULTS: Obstruction was caused by ureteropelvic junction narrowing in 25 cases, ureteral stones in 21, ureteral stricture in 20 and extrinsic ureteral obstruction in 4. Contrast enhanced spiral CT identified the cause of hydronephrosis in all obstructed kidneys (100% sensitivity), while IVP identified the cause in 52 (74% sensitivity), which was a significant difference (p <0.05). CT and IVP excluded obstruction in all normal kidneys (100% specificity). A comparison between the isotope GFR of obstructed kidneys with the corresponding CT GFR showed a perfect correlation (r = 0.78, p <0.0001). Moreover, a similar comparison between isotope GFR and CT GFR of normal kidneys showed an excellent correlation (r = 0.73, p <0.0001). In obstructed and normal kidneys mean isotope clearance was not significantly different from that of mean CT clearance.

CONCLUSIONS: Contrast enhanced spiral CT is more sensitive than IVP for identifying the cause of chronic obstructive uropathy. Moreover, it is as accurate as radioisotope renal scan for calculating the total and separate kidney function. We recommend spiral CT with contrast medium as a single radiological diagnostic modality for the assessment of patients with chronic renal obstruction and normal serum creatinine.

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