Choice of efficacious clinical management of symptomatic renal calculi can be facilitated by ascertaining the precise chemical composition of the calculus. Spiral computerized tomography (CT) is becoming a frequently used radiographic examination to establish the diagnosis and severity of calculus disease. Our objective for this study was to determine the precision of spiral CT in identifying the chemical composition of 6 different types of urinary calculi with region of interest measurements using spiral CT.Materials and Methods
A total of 102 chemically pure stones were separated into 6 groups. The stones along with phantoms containing butter (fat) and jello (water) were mounted vertically in the scanner gantry. Then 1 mm. thickness scanning was performed with a high speed scanner at the 2 energy levels of 80 and 120 kV. The determination of the chemical composition was performed using the absolute CT value measured at 120 kV. and the dual kilovolt CT values measured at 80 and 120 kV. Hounsfield unit at 80 kV. - Hounsfield unit at 120 kV.).Results
The absolute CT value measured at 120 kV. was able to identify precisely the chemical composition of uric acid, struvite and calcium oxalate stones. It was imprecise in differentiating calcium oxalate from brushite stone and struvite from cystine stone. However, dual kilovolt CT value was able to differentiate these latter stones with statistical significance (p <0.03). Uric acid stones were easily differentiated from all other stones using the absolute CT value.Conclusions
This study demonstrates that the chemical composition of urinary calculi can be accurately determined by CT scanning in an in vitro setting.