Increased urinary bladder volume improves the detectability of urinary stones at the ureterovesical junction in non-enhanced computed tomography (NECT).


Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Martinistr. 52, 20246, Hamburg, Germany. [Email]


OBJECTIVE : To evaluate the influence of the urinary bladder volume on the detectability of urolithiasis at the ureterovesical junction (UVJ) using a low-dose CT (LD-CT) with iterative reconstruction (IR) and a standard-dose CT (SD-CT) without IR in a large cohort.
METHODS : Four hundred patients (278 males (69.5%), mean 44.6 ± 14.7 years) with urolithiasis at the UVJ were investigated either by an LD-CT with IR (n = 289, 72%) or an SD-CT without IR (n = 111, 28%) protocol. The detectability of distal urolithiasis was assessed by a dichotomous assessment (definite or questionable) by two radiologists in consensus and by a quantitative analysis of the signal density distribution across a line drawn parallel to the distal ureter. Based on the resulting graph, minimum/maximum density values and mean/maximum upslopes and downslopes were derived and calculated automatically. In all patients, the total bladder volume was calculated by a slice-by-slice approach on axial CT images.
RESULTS : Patients with definite stones showed significantly higher urinary bladder volumes compared to patients with questionable stones in both LD-CT and SD-CT (p < 0.01). These results were independent of stones' length and patients' BMI values. Using cutoffs of 92 ml for LD-CT and 69 ml for SD-CT, high positive predictive values/accuracy rates of 96%/85% (LD-CT) and 98%/86% (SD-CT) were observed to identify definite urinary stones.
CONCLUSIONS : Urinary bladder volume has a significant impact on the detectability of distal urolithiasis. Moderate bladder filling by pre-CT hydration with subsequent CT scan at the time of high urge to void increases the detectability of urinary stones at the UVJ in clinical routine.
CONCLUSIONS : • Urinary bladder volume significantly affects the detectability of distal urolithiasis • Higher bladder volumes are associated with improved detectability of distal urinary stones • Oral pre-CT hydration for urolithiasis is easily applicable and cost-effective.


Diagnostic imaging,Image reconstruction,Radiation dosage,Spiral CT,Urolithiasis,