Unenhanced computerized axial tomography to detect retained calculi after percutaneous ultrasonic lithotripsy

Todd B. Waldmann, David B. Lashley, Eugene F. Fuchs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


Purpose: We report our experience with unenhanced computerized axial tomography (CT) after percutaneous ultrasonic lithotripsy in patients thought to be at high risk for retained calculi Materials and Methods: CT was obtained in 121 patients (124 kidneys) within 12 to 36 hours of percutaneous ultrasonic lithotripsy for staghorn or large nonstaghorn renal calculi. Cases were grouped according to the CT findings as no retained calculi, insignificant retained calculi (fragments 1 to 3 min.), retained calculi amenable to shock wave lithotripsy and retained fragments requiring second look percutaneous ultrasonic lithotripsy or flexible nephroscopy. Results: No calculi were seen in 73 kidneys (59%) and retained calculi were identified in 51 (41%). Shock wave lithotripsy was used to treat 8 patients and another percutaneous ultrasonic lithotripsy or flexible nephroscopy was performed in 23 to remove retained stones. Insignificant calculi were noted in the remaining 21 patients. Conclusions: We believe that postoperative unenhanced CT is superior to plain renal tomography and is the best method to determine if a patient is stone-free after percutaneous ultrasonic lithotripsy. It helps to locate precisely those stones requiring a second percutaneous ultrasonic lithotripsy or nephroscopic extraction. An unenhanced renal CT devoid of calculi obviates routine postoperative second look flexible nephroscopy. We encourage others to consider this technique to define more accurately kidney stone status after percutaneous ultrasonic lithotripsy for large staghorn calculi, or in any patient at high risk for retained calculi after percutaneous ultrasonic lithotripsy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)312-314
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1999



  • Kidney calculi
  • Lithotripsy
  • Tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

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