Renal colic: comparison of spiral CT, US and IVU in the detection of ureteral calculi

S Yilmaz, T Sindel, G Arslan, C Ozkaynak, K Karaali, A Kabaalioğlu, E Lüleci
European Radiology 1998, 8 (2): 212-7
The aim of our study was to compare non-contrast spiral CT, US and intravenous urography (IVU) in the evaluation of patients with renal colic for the diagnosis of ureteral calculi. During a period of 17 months, 112 patients with renal colic were examined with spiral CT, US and IVU. Fifteen patients were lost to follow-up and excluded. The remaining 97 patients were defined to be either true positive or negative for ureterolithiasis based on the follow-up data. Sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive value and accuracy of spiral CT, US and IVU were determined, and secondary signs of ureteral stones and other pathologies causing renal colic detected with these modalities were noted. Of 97 patients, 64 were confirmed to have ureteral calculi based on stone recovery or urological interventions. Thirty-three patients were proved not to have ureteral calculi based on failure to recover a stone and diagnoses unrelated to ureterolithiasis. Spiral CT was found to be the best modality for depicting ureteral stones with a sensitivity of 94 % and a specificity of 97 %. For US and IVU, these figures were 19, 97, 52, and 94 %, respectively. Spiral CT is superior to US and IVU in the demonstration of ureteral calculi in patients with renal colic, but because of its high cost, higher radiation dose and high workload, it should be reserved for cases where US and IVU do not show the cause of symptoms.

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