Correlation of Ureteral Stone Measurements by CT and Plain Film Radiography: Utility of the KUB

Dana Katz, John P McGahan, Eugenio O Gerscovich, Scott A. Troxel, Roger Low

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Background and Purpose: The practice of utilizing helical CT to evaluate patients suspected of renal colic is increasing. Little is known about the accuracy of CT in estimating stone size or the utility of an accompanying plain abdominal radiograph (KUB film). The purpose of our study was to compare ureteral stone size estimation by helical CT and plain film and determine whether a KUB film provides additional information useful in patient management. Patients and Methods: Thirty consecutive patients (17 male, 13 female) having both a helical CT and a KUB study for evaluation of renal colic secondary to ureteral calculi comprised the study population. Calculus number, location, and dimensions were determined from these images. Stone dimensions were measured using electronic calipers on a picture archiving and communications system. Information found by KUB and CT was compared, and both sets of stone measurements were correlated with patient outcome. Results: The mean maximal stone transverse diameter and length were similar on CT and plain film: 5.8 mm v 5.8 mm and 9.5 mm v 8.9 mm, respectively (P = 0.57 and 0.29, respectively). The mean anteroposterior stone diameter on CT of 6.8 mm was statistically greater than the transverse diameter as measured by both CT and KUB, which were 5.8 mm and 5.8 mm (P = 0.0002 and 0.0007, respectively). Eleven patients spontaneously passed their stones, while 19 patients required intervention. Patient outcome, as predicted by transverse stone width, was similar for CT and KUB data. Conclusions: The management of patients with ureteral calculi relies on estimated stone size and the stone's potential for spontaneous passage. Stone dimensions estimated by CT are similar to the size determined by plain film radiography. Although plain film radiography does not provide information on stone dimensions beyond that obtained with CT, it does reveal precise stone location and radiolucency, data helpful in following and treating patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)847-850
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Endourology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Dec 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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