The Role of Computerized Tomographic Urography in the Initial Evaluation of Hematuria

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Abstract

Purpose

We determined the usefulness of computerized tomographic urography for the initial evaluation of patients with hematuria as an alternative to excretory urography.

Materials and Methods

A total of 259 patients (140 men and 119 women), age range 20 to 100 (mean 59.4) years, underwent computerized tomographic urography for the evaluation of hematuria and were available for followup. A cohort of 253 patients (153 men, 100 women), age range 21 to 92 (mean 57.6) years, underwent conventional excretory urography and were evaluated for comparison.

Results

A source of hematuria was identified in 107 patients (41.3%) in the computerized tomographic urography cohort and in 103 patients (40.7%) in the excretory urography cohort. Computerized tomographic urography alone identified a source of hematuria in 25.5% of these patients with the most commonly diagnosed lesions being renal calculi (18.9%), ureteral calculi (2.7%) and renal pelvic masses (2.3%) in the upper tract (0.94 sensitivity), and bladder masses (8.1%), prostatic abnormalities (5.4%) and inflammatory disorders (3.5%) in the lower tract (0.40 sensitivity, 0.99 specificity). The overall detection rate (19.5%), most commonly diagnosed lesions, and lower urinary tract sensitivity and specificity were similar in the excretory urography cohort. However, excretory urography exhibited a markedly lower sensitivity in detecting upper tract lesions (0.50).

Conclusions

Computerized tomographic urography exhibited a significantly higher sensitivity than conventional excretory urography in detecting upper tract pathology (94.1% vs 50%). However, sensitivity for detecting lower tract lesions was low (40% or less), suggesting that computerized tomographic urography offers a comprehensive alternative to excretory urography but does not obviate the need for adjunctive cystourethroscopy for accurate evaluation of the lower urinary tract.

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