JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Cholelithiasis: evaluation with CT.

Radiology 1987 Februrary
Computed tomography (CT) is often the first imaging modality used in the diagnosis of patients with suspected abdominal disease. While it is known that early generation CT scanners often detect gallstones, the detection rate of newer equipment is not widely known. Abdominal CT scans of 226 patients who had undergone ultrasonographic (US) studies of the gallbladder were reviewed in a blinded study to determine the accuracy of state-of-the-art CT scanning equipment in the detection of cholelithiasis. Of 110 patients with US or surgical evidence of cholelithiasis, gallstones were demonstrated on CT images of 87 (79.1% sensitivity). Overall accuracy was 89.8%, while specificity was 100%. On CT images stones could appear densely (48.3%) or slightly (11.5%) calcified, as an area with a rim of increased density (21.8%), as an area of soft-tissue density (14.9%), or as an area of low density (3.4%). Stone size, stone density, section incrementation, and the pericholecystic anatomy affected the detection rate. Understanding the spectrum of findings and the other factors involved can optimize success of diagnosis of cholelithiasis on the basis of CT examinations.

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