Use of Nonprostate Ultrasound in Urology Practice

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Abstract

Introduction:

Ultrasound imaging is necessary for the care of urology patients, and urology residents are encouraged to learn ultrasound technique and interpretation. However, there is limited mandated education in this field. Currently the only ultrasound procedure considered an index case is transrectal ultrasound for prostate biopsy. We investigated the current use of nonprostate ultrasound in urological practice.

Methods:

We reviewed ABU (American Board of Urology) certification and recertification logs of practicing urologists from 2012 to 2014. We obtained data for the codes 76700–76776 (kidney), 76870 (scrotal), 76999 (unlisted) and 93975–93981 (Doppler including penile). Codes 51798 (post-void residual) and 76950 (ultrasound for interstitial radiotherapy) were excluded from the study. We analyzed the results based on self-identified demographic information provided by the urologists.

Results:

The practices of 2,427 urologists were reviewed and of these, 43% billed for at least 1 renal, scrotal or penile ultrasound. General and subspecialist urologists perform similar percentages of ultrasound studies, except for pediatrics (0% penile) and andrology (40% penile). Of those who reported on practice type (2,067) 82% self-identify as in private practice and performed more ultrasound studies than academic urologists, including renal 42% vs 23%, scrotal 33% vs 15% and penile 8% vs 6%, respectively. Men performed more nonprostate ultrasounds than women (44% vs 36%, p <0.001).

Conclusions:

In addition to prostate ultrasound, renal and scrotal ultrasound is relevant to all urologists regardless of practice model or subspecialty. Graduating residents can expect to perform ultrasound examinations in their practices and, therefore, in addition to prostate ultrasound we should train residents in renal and scrotal ultrasound.

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