Urolithiasis: how accurate are plain radiographs?

V O Chan, O Buckley, T Persaud, W C Torreggiani
Canadian Association of Radiologists Journal 2008, 59 (3): 131-4

OBJECTIVE: To determine the value of the kidneys, ureters, and bladder radiograph (KUB) in the diagnosis of urolithiasis using unenhanced helical computerized tomography (UHCT) as the gold standard.

METHODS: A retrospective study was performed on 100 consecutive patients being investigated for suspected urolithiasis. All patients presented with acute renal colic and had a KUB and UHCT within a 3-hour period. UHCT and KUB pairs were assessed separately by 2 radiologists in consensus who were blinded to the clinical details of the patients and the results of the other tests and examinations. The presence, location, number, and size of stones were recorded. Each UHCT and KUB pair was then compared for concordance on a stone-by-stone basis.

RESULTS: KUB was concordant with the gold standard UHCT in only 50% of patients (11 positive, 39 negative), giving a sensitivity of 18.6%, a specificity of 95.1%, a positive predictive value of 84.6%, and a negative predictive value of 44.8%.

CONCLUSION: KUB has a very low sensitivity for the detection of urolithiasis, although specificity is acceptable.

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"