Imaging for urolithiasis: standards, trends, and radiation exposure

Michael Lipkin, Anika Ackerman
Current Opinion in Urology 2016, 26 (1): 56-62

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To discuss current trends in imaging for urolithiasis and review the recent scientific literature surrounding this topic. Specifically, to address the efforts urologist should be making to reduce the use of ionizing radiation and to examine alternatives to computerized tomography (CT) scan in diagnosing and managing patients with stones.

RECENT FINDINGS: Although CT remains the gold standard for diagnosing urolithiasis, low-dose and ultralow-dose CT scans should be utilized more frequently. Imaging with ultrasound and digital tomosynthesis, especially in follow-up for urolithiasis, offers the dual benefit of reduced patient radiation exposure and acceptable diagnostic ability.

SUMMARY: Urolithiasis is a prevalent and recurrent condition and patient radiation exposure throughout diagnosis and management of this disease needs to be considered. Imaging modalities that limit radiation and preserve diagnostic accuracy must be utilized.

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