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J Urol. 2004 Sep;172(3):962-4.

Coronal imaging to assess urinary tract stone size.

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Department of Urology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA.



Urinary tract stones are typically measured using axial images from computerized tomography (CT). Such images provide a precise measurement of stone length and width. However, cephalocaudad dimensions can be difficult to determine from axial images. Coronal reconstructions, which can more accurately measure cephalocaudad dimensions, are seldom used to measure stones. We determined if coronal reconstructions could aid in more precisely determining stone size.


CT in patients who had undergone CT to evaluate urolithiasis at our institution during the 9-month period of January 2001 to September 2001 were reviewed. Length and width were measured using axial images, and cephalocaudad length and width were measured using coronal reconstructions. Cephalocaudad length was also estimated from axial images. Total area was calculated from axial and coronal reconstructions. The paired t test was used to assess statistical significance.


The CT images of 102 patients with a total of 151 stones had undergone coronal reconstructions and, thus, were included in the study. Mean area in the axial and coronal reconstruction groups was 22.23 and 31.29 mm, respectively. Mean greatest axial dimension (length or width) was 4.87 mm and mean greatest coronal dimension (cephalocaudad length) was 6.51 mm. Cephalocaudad length estimated from axial images was 8.8 mm. Differences for all 3 of these comparisons (axial vs coronal area, greatest axial vs coronal dimension and estimated vs actual cephalocaudad length) proved to be statistically significant (p <0.0001).


While urinary tract stones have typically been measured using axial images, coronal images provide a different impression of stone size. These data demonstrate that examining only axial images provides an inaccurate measure of stone size. We suggest that coronal images should also be used to measure more accurately stone size, which is critical for clinical decision making.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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