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Ultrasound Med Biol. 2012 May;38(5):803-10. doi: 10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2012.01.009. Epub 2012 Mar 6.

Imaging-based assessment of the mineral composition of urinary stones: an in vitro study of the combination of hounsfield unit measurement in noncontrast helical computerized tomography and the twinkling artifact in color Doppler ultrasound.

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1
Nuclear Medicine Department, Bichat Claude Bernard University Medical Center, Paris, France. hassani.hakim@gmail.com

Abstract

We evaluated the value of combining noncontrast helical computerized tomography (NCHCT) and color Doppler ultrasound in the assessment of the composition of urinary stones. In vitro, we studied 120 stones of known composition, that separate into the five main types: 18 calcium oxalate monohydrate (COM) stones, 41 calcium oxalate dihydrate (COD) stones, 24 uric acid stones, 25 calcium phosphate stones and 12 cystine calculi. Stones were characterized in terms of their Hounsfield density (HU) in NCHCT and the presence of a twinkling artifact (TA) in color Doppler ultrasound. There were statistically significant HU differences between calcium and non-calcium stones (p < 0.001), calcium oxalate stones and calcium phosphate stones (p < 0.001) and uric acid stones and cystine calculi (p < 0.001) but not between COM and COD stones (p = 0.786). Hence, the HU was a predictive factor of the composition of all types of stones, other than for COM and COD stones within the calcium oxalate class (p > 0.05). We found that the TA does not enable differentiation between calcium and non-calcium stones (p > 0.999), calcium oxalate stones and calcium phosphate stones (p = 0.15), or uric acid stones and cystine calculi (p = 0.079). However, it did reveal a significant difference between COM and COD stones (p = 0.002). The absence of a TA is a predictive factor for the presence of COM stones (p = 0.008). Hence, the association of NCHCT and Doppler enables the accurate classification of the five types of stones in vitro.

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