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Alaska Med. 2005 Jul-Sep;47(2):6-9.

Hounsfield unit density accurately predicts ESWL success.

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Alaska Urological Associates, 1200 Airport Heights, Suite 101, Anchorage, AK 99508, USA.


Extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy (ESWL) is a commonly used non-invasive treatment for urolithiasis. Helical CT scans provide much better and detailed imaging of the patient with urolithiasis including the ability to measure density of urinary stones. In this study we tested the hypothesis that density of urinary calculi as measured by CT can predict successful ESWL treatment. 198 patients were treated at Alaska Urological Associates with ESWL between January 2002 and April 2004. Of these 101 met study inclusion with accessible CT scans and stones ranging from 5-15 mm. Follow-up imaging demonstrated stone freedom in 74.2%. The overall mean Houndsfield density value for stone-free compared to residual stone groups were significantly different ( 93.61 vs 122.80 p < 0.0001). We determined by receiver operator curve (ROC) that HDV of 93 or less carries a 90% or better chance of stone freedom following ESWL for upper tract calculi between 5-15mm.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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