Ureterolithiasis: Can clinical outcome be predicted with unenhanced helical CT?

Naoki Takahashi, Akira Kawashima, Randy D. Ernst, Illya C. Boridy, Stanford M. Goldman, George S. Benson, Carl M. Sandler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To evaluate the use of helical computed tomography (CT) without contrast material enhancement for prediction of a favorable outcome in ureterolithiasis. MATERIALS AND METHODS: CT studies were reviewed in 69 patients with a single ureteral stone not located at the ureteropelvic junction. CT findings (tissue rim sign, hydronephrosis, perinephric fat stranding, perinephric fluid collections, and thickening of renal fascia) were graded on a scale of 0-3. Stone diameter and renal parenchymal enlargement were also measured. RESULTS: Twenty-two patients had spontaneous passage, 12 did not respond to conservative treatment, and 35 were lost to follow-up. When the latter 35 patients were excluded, perinephric fat stranding (P = .044) and perinephric fluid collections (P = .021) were graded significantly higher in patients with spontaneous stone passage. Mean stone diameter was significantly larger (P < .001) in patients in whom conservative treatment failed (mean, 7.8 mm) than in patients with spontaneous stone passage (mean, 2.9 mm). The presence of a tissue rim sign and the grade of hydronephrosis, renal fascial thickening, and renal parenchymal enlargement were not significantly different between the two groups. CONCLUSION: In addition to stone size, the degree of perinephric fat stranding and the presence of perinephric fluid collections are useful ancillary signs for help in predicting the likelihood of stone passage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-102
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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