A prospective comparison of the evaluation of biliary obstruction using computed tomography and ultrasonography.
A total of 103 consecutive patients with suspected biliary obstruction were studied using both computed tomography (CT) and ultrasound (US) to evaluate the relative accuracy of the methods. In 47 patients with confirmed obstruction, CT and US were comparable accurate in differentiating obstruction from nonobstruction. The precise level of obstruction was identified by CT in 88% and by US in 60%; the cause of obstruction was accurately predicted by CT in 70% and by US in 38%. Both methods detected useful additional information, such as cholelithiasis or retroperitoneal adenopathy. The authors use US as a screening examination; if there is doubt about the level and cause of sonographically demonstrated obstruction, CT has proved to be an accurate means of further evaluation.
Cytological Sampling Versus Forceps Biopsy During Percutaneous Transhepatic Biliary Drainage and Analysis of Factors Predicting Success.
Department of Radiology, Hull Royal Infirmary, Hull, HU3 2JZ, UK.
PURPOSE: To assess the accuracy of cytological sampling and forceps biopsy in obstructing biliary lesions and to identify factors predictive of success. METHODS: Consecutive patients (n = 119) with suspected malignant inoperable obstructive jaundice treated with percutaneous transhepatic biliary drainage during 7 years were included (60 male; mean age 72.5 years). All patients underwent forceps biopsy plus cytological sampling by washing the forceps device in cytological solution. Patient history, procedural and pathological records, and clinical follow-up were reviewed. Statistical analysis included chi-square test and multivariate regression analysis. RESULTS: Histological diagnosis after forceps biopsy was more successful than cytology: Sensitivity was 78 versus 61%, and negative predictive value was 30 versus 19%. Cytology results were never positive when the forceps biopsy was negative. The cytological sample was negative and forceps sample positive in 2 cases of cholangiocarcinoma, 16 cases of pancreatic carcinoma, and 1 case of benign disease. Diagnostic accuracy was predicted by low bilirubin (p < 0.001), aspartate transaminase (p < 0.05), and white cell count (p ≤ 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: This technique is safe and effective and is recommended for histological diagnosis during PTBD in patients with inoperable malignant biliary strictures. Diagnostic yield is greater when bilirubin levels are low and there is no sepsis; histological diagnosis by way of forceps biopsy renders cytological sampling unnecessary.
Department of Internal Medicine, Maggiore Hospital, Largo B. Nigrisoli 2, 40133, Bologna, Italy.
Ultrasonography (US) is an invaluable tool in the management of many types of patients in Internal Medicine and Emergency Departments, as it provides rapid, detailed information regarding abdominal organs and the cardiovascular system, and facilitates the assessment and safe drainage of pleural or intra-abdominal fluid and placement of central venous catheters. Bedside US is a common practice in Emergency Departments, Internal Medicine Departments and Intensive Care Units. US performed by clinicians is an excellent risk reducing tool, shortening the time to definitive therapy, and decreasing the rate of complications from blind invasive procedures. US can be performed at different levels of practice in Internal Medicine, according to the experience of ultrasound practitioners and equipment availability. In this review, the indications for bedside US that can be performed with basic or intermediate US training will be highlighted.
John T Maple, Tamir Ben-Menachem, Michelle A Anderson, Vasundhara Appalaneni, Subhas Banerjee, Brooks D Cash, Laurel Fisher, M Edwyn Harrison, Robert D Fanelli, Norio Fukami, Steven O Ikenberry, Rajeev Jain, Khalid Khan, Mary Lee Krinsky, Laura Strohmeyer, Jason A Dominitz
Department of Medicine, John H Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County, 1900 W Polk St., 15th Floor, Chicago, IL, 60612, USA. email@example.com
The common bile duct (CBD) diameter is one factor that clinicians use when deciding on invasive evaluation for intra-ductal pathology, e.g., endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography. Previous studies and gastrointestinal and radiological textbook authors report disparate interpretations. These inconsistent interpretations likely result from methodological limitations in prior studies. The purpose of this work is to primarily compare the CBD diameter among patients with and without prior cholecystectomy and secondarily to compare proximal and distal CBD measurements. Among 40 matched pairs, post-cholecystectomy patients had larger mean CBD diameters at proximal (7.0 vs. 5.4 mm; P < 0.001) and distal (5.9 vs. 4.6 mm; P < 0.001) sites. Post-cholecystectomy patients were also more likely to exceed the 6-mm cut point for proximal (80 vs. 28%; P < 0.001) or distal (58 vs. 20%; P = 0.003) measurements. Incidental radiographic detection of enlarged CBDs among post-cholecystectomy patients is common; therefore, clinicians should use clinical determinants to guide decisions about additional costly or potentially harmful evaluation for intraductal pathology.
Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ 07103, USA.
Mirizzi syndrome, a rare complication of chronic cholelithiasis, is caused by an impacted stone in the cystic duct or the neck of the gallbladder. Patients present with abdominal pain, fever, and obstructive jaundice. The cholangiographic finding is a smooth stricture caused by lateral compression of the common hepatic duct. A similar appearance on cholangiogram can result from carcinoma of the gallbladder, carcinoma of the cystic duct, or hilar adenopathy. Acute acalculous cholecystitis simulating Mirizzi syndrome is extremely rare. This is the report of such a case in which marked inflammatory changes around the neck of the gallbladder likely caused significant mechanical obstruction of the common hepatic duct.
Detection of biliary duct narrowing and choledocholithiasis: accuracy of portal venous phase multidetector CT.
Department of Radiology, Boston University Medical Center, 88 E Newton St, 2nd floor, Boston, MA 02215, USA. Stephan.Anderson@bmc.org
PURPOSE To retrospectively evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of 64-detector computed tomography (CT) in the portal venous phase by using transverse images and both multiplanar and minimum intensity reformations for the detection of biliary duct narrowing and choledocholithiasis, with magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) or endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) as the reference standard. MATERIALS AND METHODS Approval from institutional review board was obtained for this HIPAA-compliant retrospective study; informed consent was waived. The study included all patients (42 men, 52 women; mean age, 61 years) who underwent abdominal 64-detector CT within 2 months of MRCP and/or ERCP. All patients underwent portal venous phase intravenous contrast material-enhanced abdominal CT. Sixty-one patients underwent MRCP and 54 patients underwent ERCP (21 patients underwent both). Two radiologists, blinded to the reference standard, independently evaluated the CT images, including multiplanar and minimum intensity reformations, for biliary duct narrowing and choledocholithiasis. Standard of reference examinations were used to calculate sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value (NPV). RESULTS Twenty-three (24%) of 94 patients had a biliary duct narrowing at reference examinations. For detecting biliary duct narrowing, observer 1 had a sensitivity of 78.2%, specificity of 100%, PPV of 100%, and NPV of 93.4% and observer 2 had a sensitivity of 69.6%, specificity of 100%, PPV of 100%, and NPV of 91.0%. In 18 (19%) of 94 patients, choledocholithiasis was detected at reference examinations. For detecting choledocholithiasis, observer 1 had a sensitivity of 77.8%, specificity of 96.1%, PPV of 82.4%, and NPV of 94.8% and observer 2 had a sensitivity of 72.2%, specificity of 96.1%, PPV of 81.2%, and NPV of 93.6%. CONCLUSION Portal venous phase multidetector CT images are highly specific and moderately sensitive for the detection of biliary duct narrowing and choledocholithiasis.
Division of Gastroenterology, McMaster University Medical Centre, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. firstname.lastname@example.org
Evaluation of suspected biliary tract obstruction is a common clinical problem. Clinical data such as history, physical examination, and laboratory tests can accurately identify up to 90% of patients whose jaundice is caused by extrahepatic obstruction. However, complete assessment of extrahepatic obstruction often requires the use of various imaging modalities to confirm the presence, level, and cause of obstruction, and to aid in treatment plan. In the present summary, the literature on competing technologies including endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), percutaneous transhepatic cholangiopancreatography (PTC), endoscopic ultrasound (EUS), intraductal ultrasonography (IDUS), magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP), helical CT (hCT) and helical CT cholangiography (hCTC) with regards to diagnostic performance characteristics, technical success, safety, and cost-effectiveness is reviewed. Patients with obstructive jaundice secondary to choledocholithiasis or pancreaticobiliary malignancies are the primary focus of this review. Algorithms for the management of suspected obstructive jaundice are put forward based on current evidence. Published data suggest an increasing role for EUS and other noninvasive imaging techniques such as MRCP, and hCT following an initial transabdominal ultrasound in the assessment of patients with suspected biliary obstruction to select candidates for surgery or therapeutic ERCP. The management of patients with a suspected pancreaticobiliary condition ultimately is dependent on local expertise, availability, cost, and the multidisciplinary collaboration between radiologists, surgeons, and gastroenterologists.
64-detector row computed tomography: an improved tool for evaluating the biliary and pancreatic ducts?
Department of Radiology, Section of Body Imaging, Boston University Medical Center, Boston, MA 02118, USA. Stephan.email@example.com
The imaging evaluation of patients with suspected pancreaticobiliary abnormality includes noninvasive imaging modalities such as sonography and MRI. The use of computed tomography (CT) has typically been limited to the evaluation and staging of malignancy affecting the pancreas and biliary tree. With the increasing use of CT in abdominal imaging for patients with a wide variety of indications, biliary and pancreatic abnormalities are being initially identified with increasing frequency on CT. The evolution of CT technology to multi-detector channel row (MDCT) scanners, currently culminating in use of 64-detector-row MDCT scanners, has provided unprecedented image quality. We have recently installed three 64-MDCT scanners in our institution and, in this article, we describe our experience in their application to imaging of the pancreatic and biliary ducts. Our current protocols for imaging the biliary tree and pancreatic duct using this technology are discussed. Additionally, the advantages of novel interpretation techniques including multi-planar and minimum intensity projection reformations are detailed. Various diseases affecting the pancreaticobiliary tree are briefly discussed along with their typical imaging evaluation. The application of 64-MDCT technology to these abnormalities is described along with expected imaging findings on CT. The imaging findings of various pancreaticobiliary abnormalities using 64-MDCT scanner technology encountered at our institution are illustrated. In summary, 64-MDCT technology offers several technical advances which may increase utilization of CT in the evaluation and diagnosis of pancreaticobiliary abnormalities.
Radiology Department, Boston Medical Center, 88 East Newton Street, 2nd Floor, Boston, MA 02215, USA. Stephan.Anderson@bmc.org
OBJECTIVE: Our purpose was to evaluate the diagnostic performance of contrast-enhanced and unenhanced MDCT, performed for various indications, in detecting choledocholithiasis. CONCLUSION: Unenhanced and contrast-enhanced MDCT images, interpreted in PACS workstations with axial images, are moderately sensitive and specific for showing choledocholithiasis.
Accuracy of ultrasonography in evaluation of level and cause of biliary obstruction: a prospective study.
Department of Radiology, Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, Maharajgunj, Kathmandu, Nepal. firstname.lastname@example.org
AIM To find out the accuracy of ultrasound in evaluation of level and cause of biliary obstruction. MATERIALS AND METHODS Forty-five patients (26 to 86 years of age) with suspected biliary obstruction underwent Ultrasonography followed by Direct Cholangiograms (Percutaneous Transhepatic Cholangiography / Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiography). The levels of biliary obstructions were grouped as hilar, suprapancreatic and intrapancreatic. Similarly the causes were grouped as malignant and benign. Diagnosis was confirmed either at surgery or histopathologically (USG-guided FNAC or ERC-biopsy). RESULTS Ultrasonography accurately identified the level of obstruction in 89 %( hilar), 91%(suprapancreatic) and 87%( intrapancreatic) cases. Malignancy was found in 33 patients and remaining 12 had benign diseases. USG accurately identified malignant and benign causes in 91% and 84% cases respectively. Findings were found to be statistically significant (p-value =< 0.05 at 95%confidence interval). CONCLUSION This study showed that USG has high accuracy in identifying the level and cause of biliary obstruction. Considering cost, availability and patient friendly nature, Ultrasound should be the first imaging modality of choice in evaluation of biliary obstruction.
Other papers by authors:
The agent used to introduce gas into the stomach is an important factor in determining the quality of double-contrast upper gastrointestinal radiography. The efficacy of 3 effervescent agents formulated for use in double-contract upper gastrointestinal radiography was evaluated in 300 patients. Patients found 2 granular preparations (E-Z-Gas granules and Baros) easier to swallow than a powdered agent (E-Z-Gas powder). Bubble formation and flocculation of barium in the stomach were less of a problem with Baros. Differences in mucosal coating and visualization of area gastricae were not statistically significant.
Gray scale cholecystosonograms in 200 patients were reviewed. The findings in 133 of the patients were proved correct at surgery or autopsy. The overall accuracy for the detection of gallstones was 92 percent, with a false-negative rate of 4 percent. A false-positive diagnosis of cholelithiasis was made in three patients, two of whom proved to have extensive cholesterolosis. Causes of false-negative studies were the presence of a single small calculus, obseity and a large distended gallbladder. Ultrasound was specific but insensitive in the detection of a thickened gallbladder wall. The significance of a nonvisualized gallbladder by ultrasound and the role of ultrasound in the diagnosis of gallbladder disease are discussed.
Limitations of the post-lymphangiogram plain abdominal radiograph as an indicator of recurrent lymphoma: comparison to computed tomography.
A comparison was made between post-lymphangiogram abdominal radiographs and computed tomographic (CT) scans in 18 lymphoma patients. When radiographs were obtained more than one year after the original lymphangiogram, only a small percentage of the patients had adequate contrast medium remaining in the lymph nodes for a definitive diagnosis. In three cases with apparently adequate residual contrast material, the radiograph did not provide accurate information on the presence or extent of recurrent lymphoma. The authors conclude that CT is the preferred method for the initial staging of patients with lymphoma, as well as for follow-up studies after one year.
Two hundred consecutive patients were evaluated for renal obstruction using both static B-scanning and high resolution real-time scanning. The overall diagnostic accuracy was 93% for the static B-scanner and 94% for the real-time unit, with a false positive diagnostic rate of 8% for each. Because of its greater flexibility and shorter scanning time, real-time can replace static B-scanning in the diagnosis of renal obstruction. It has also become the preferred method of guidance for interventional uroradiological procedures. The pitfalls of real-time scanning in evaluating renal obstruction are also discussed.
Barium examination of the esophagus is often useful for evaluating the cause of dysphagia, a frequent condition in patients who have undergone total laryngectomy. The examination may be difficult to interpret, however, because a variety of anatomic changes may be produced by radiation, infection, fistula, recurrent tumor, or the operation itself. Radiographic and clinical information on 45 total-laryngectomy patients, whose follow-up periods ranged from six months to 17 years, were analyzed. A recurrent tumor was found in 15 patients and was evident radiographically as a mass deviating the neopharynx in 14. Benign strictures in 14 patients appeared either as a long symmetrical narrowing or as a very short, weblike narrowing. Fistulas were demonstrated in 13 patients and presaged the development of recurrent tumors in five. Cricopharyngeal muscular dysfunction accounted for dysphagia in five cases. An understanding of these patterns leads to more accurate interpretation of the postoperative barium examination of the esophagus, and the radiographic findings often indicate the correct diagnosis with a high degree of confidence.
In a review of 200 consecutive CT scans of the upper abdomen, the structures within the gastrohepatic ligament (GHL) were well seen in 182 (91%). In 85% of these 182 patients, the largest structure visible within the GHL was 6 mm or smaller. A total of 27 patients had a structure larger than 6 mm within the GHL; this finding could be explained in 13 by the presence of a normal anatomic variant. Of the 14 others, 12 had known tumor arising in or known to have spread to the upper abdomen. Two patients had no obvious explanation. Fourteen patients with cancers of the stomach (9 patients), pancreas (3 patients), and esophagus (2 patients) had 57 intact nodes that were evaluated pathologically. Of these 40/40 benign nodes and 10/17 malignant nodes were less than or equal to 8 mm in size. When anatomic variants are excluded, the finding of rounded structures greater than 8 mm in the GHL is a reliable indicator of left gastric node involvement by carcinoma or lymphoma or of coronary venous dilatation.
Vertical hemilaryngectomy (VHL) is an effective treatment for localized true-vocal-cord carcinoma. Single- and double-contrast barium pharyngoesophagrams in 13 post-VHL patients (11 with dysphagia or suspected tumor recurrence, and two asymptomatic volunteers) were reviewed retrospectively. The two asymptomatic volunteers illustrated the normal postoperative appearance, demonstrating an unaltered pharynx, with no barium aspiration. Barium aspiration into the laryngeal vestibule or trachea was seen in 10 cases and was the only abnormal radiographic finding in four such patients. Three instances of tumor recurrence were identified. In two such cases, aspirated barium revealed a narrowed, irregular lumen of the residual laryngeal vestibule with a mass protruding into the subglottic part of the airway. The third example of recurrent malignancy was manifested by a tracheoesophageal fistula. Findings on the barium examination mimicked recurrent tumor in four cases. In one instance, a mound of granulation tissue protruding into the subglottic airway was confused with tumor recurrence. In three cases, the radiographs demonstrated apparent narrowing and mucosal irregularity of the residual laryngeal vestibule. This appearance was due to early postoperative edema or to transient deformity of the pliable residual hemilarynx during deglutition, as shown by videotaped fluoroscopy.
A retrospective review of CT scans in 69 consecutive patients with proven biliary obstruction due to both malignant and benign causes was performed to define and differentiate CT changes. Abrupt termination of a dilated extrahepatic biliary duct was characteristic of a malignant process in the absence of a mass. Gradual tapering of a dilated duct was specific for benign disease. Other findings, such as degree of intra- or extrahepatic duct dilatation and presence or absence of a dilated pancreatic duct were not reliable in distinguishing benign from malignant causes. The authors also found CT to be accurate in detecting common duct stones with a sensitivity exceeding 80%.
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Size of the largest lymph node visualized on multi-detector-row computed tomography (MDCT) is useful in predicting metastatic lymph node status of gastric cancer.
Department of General Surgery, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.
This study was designed to investigate whether the size of the largest lymph node (long-axis diameter [LAD] and short-axis diameter [SAD]) visualized using multi-detector-row computed tomography (MDCT) was useful for predicting the metastatic lymph node (MLN) status of gastric cancer. A retrospective analysis of 305 gastric cancer patients who underwent pre-operative MDCT was performed, followed by a prospective study in 61 gastric cancer patients to determine the diagnostic effectiveness of LAD and SAD. In the retrospective study, the accuracy of LAD and SAD for predicting the MLN status of gastric cancer was 51.1% and 45.9%, respectively. In the prospective study, the accuracy of LAD and SAD measurement and the traditional MDCT method of counting MLNs was 52.5%, 49.2% and 57.4%, respectively; the differences were not significant. In conclusion, the size of the largest lymph node in terms of LAD and SAD visualized on MDCT was useful for predicting the MLN status of gastric cancer, with accuracy comparable to the traditional MDCT method of counting the total number of MLNs detected.
H Okano, K Shiraki, H Inoue, T Ito, T Yamanaka, M Deguchi, K Sugimoto, T Sakai, S Ohmori, K Murata, K Takase, T Nakano
First Department of Internal Medicine, Mie University School of Medicine, Tsu, Japan.
To determine the most suitable screening methods for hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs), we investigated 45 cases with HCCs. Ultrasonography, computed tomography (CT) scan and measurement of alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) were regularly performed. Thirty-two cases (72%) were detected initially by ultrasonography. Fourteen out of 23 cases (61%) with tumors 20 mm or less in diameter and 11 out of 12 cases (91%) with 21-30 mm tumors were detected initially by.ultrasonography. For the initial detection of tumors sized 20 mm or less, the mean interval of ultrasonography was 3.54 months, unlike the 5.67 months for tumors sized over 21 mm. There was no significant difference between tumor size and measurement interval in AFP levels or CT scan examinations. From these results, we suggest that a suitable screening schedule would be every three months by ultrasonography.
Absent peritoneal fluid on screening trauma ultrasonography in children: a prospective comparison with computed tomography.
Department of Radiology, Children's Hospital Medical Center, 3333 Burnet Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45229-3039, USA.
BACKGROUND Although the accuracy of focused abdominal sonography for trauma (FAST) in adults has been demonstrated, results of this technique in children have been conflicting with few comparisons against computed tomography (CT), the imaging gold standard. METHODS A total of 160 hemodynamically stable pediatric trauma victims referred for abdominal CT initially underwent rapid screening sonography looking for free fluid. Both studies were interpreted in blinded fashion. RESULTS Forty-four of the 160 patients had an intraabdominal injury on CT, 24 (55%) of which had normal screening sonography. Fifteen of the 44 (34%) had no free fluid on either modality. Accuracy of sonography compared with CT was 76% with a negative predictive value 81%. CONCLUSIONS Sonography for free fluid alone is not reliable to exclude blunt intraabdominal injury in hemodynamically stable children given the considerable percentage of injured patients without free fluid. J Pediatr Surg 36:565-569.
Departments of Radiology and Surgery, Furness General Hospital, Dalton Lane, Barrow in Furness, Cumbria, LA14 4LF.
AIM To evaluate prospectively the usefulness of ultrasound in determining the site and cause of distal small bowel and colonic obstruction. MATERIALS AND METHODS Ultrasound findings in 60 consecutive patients with suspected distal ileal or colonic obstruction were correlated with final surgical and radiological diagnoses. The diagnostic value of ultrasound was compared with plain abdominal radiography (AXR) for the presence and level of obstruction. RESULTS Forty-five patients were confirmed to be obstructed. Ultrasound correctly identified obstruction in 44/45 and the cause in 36/45 (80%). Overall sensitivity of US for obstruction was 98% and specificity 80%, compared with 79% and 53% respectively for the AXR. CONCLUSION Ultrasound is useful in determining the presence and cause of distal ileal and colonic obstruction.
Comparison of C-arm CT fluoroscopy and conventional fluoroscopy for percutaneous biliary drainage procedures.
Department of Radiology, Philipps-University Hospital, Marburg, Germany. email@example.com
PURPOSE To conduct a prospective randomized evaluation of C-arm computed tomography (CT) fluoroscopy for external biliary drainage procedures in comparison with conventional fluoroscopic guidance to reduce the number of transhepatic punctures as a primary endpoint. MATERIALS AND METHODS In 18 patients with biliary obstructions, 20 external percutaneous biliary drainage procedures were prospectively performed with use of either C-arm CT fluoroscopy or conventional fluoroscopy alone. The number of hepatic punctures, procedure time, and fluoroscopy time, were analyzed separately for both methods. RESULTS C-arm CT fluoroscopy resulted in a reduced number of transhepatic punctures, with decreased procedure and fluoroscopy times (P <.05; t test). When compared with conventional external biliary drainage procedures, a mean of 1.8+/-1 versus 4.8+/-2.8 hepatic punctures at a fluoroscopy time of 3.4+/-1.5 versus 11.4+/-7.4 minutes was required for C-arm CT fluoroscopy, while procedure times were 11+/-3.6 versus 16.2+/-9.3 minutes. CONCLUSIONS C-arm CT fluoroscopy is associated with decreased procedure and fluoroscopy times, while fewer transhepatic punctures are required to establish external biliary drainage.
Can noncontrast helical computed tomography replace intravenous urography for evaluation of patients with acute urinary tract colic?
Department of Radiology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27157-1088, USA.
The objective of this study was to determine whether helical computed tomography (CT) performed without oral or intravenous contrast agents is accurate in the evaluation of patients with suspected acute renal colic. One hundred consecutive patients with suspected renal colic or ureteral colic were referred by our institution's emergency department for unenhanced helical CT scans. We reviewed the original radiographic report for each patient and recorded the size and location of ureteral calculi and other concurrent urinary tract calculi, if any. We also recorded the presence or absence of hydronephrosis, hydroureter, perinephric edema, and periureteral edema. A total of 49 patients had ureteral calculi, 17 patients had only renal calculi, and 34 patients had no stones. Forty-nine patients had ureteral calculi, and 40 (82%) of these 49 patients had associated CT signs including hydroureter and periureteral edema. Calculi were present in the proximal ureter in 11 patients, the midureter in seven patients, and the distal ureter including ureterovesical junction in 31 patients. Calculi were seen elsewhere in the urinary tract and renal pelvis in 44 patients. Other diagnostic tests and stone passage were used to confirm the CT diagnosis of ureteral stones. The sensitivity and specificity of helical CT in evaluating ureteral calculi were 100% and 94%, respectively. Sixteen extraurinary lesions were detected in 34 patients who had no urinary calculi. Most extraurinary lesions (81%) were deemed the cause of acute flank pain. The room time for CT averaged 26 min, compared to 69 min for intravenous urography (IVU). The charge for CT was $600 compared to $400 for IVU in our institution. Unenhanced helical CT was fast and accurate in determining the cause of colic and proved to be highly accurate for emergency situations.
Department of Radiology, Vancouver Hospital and Health Sciences Centre, British Columbia, Canada.
PURPOSE: To compare prospectively the accuracy of spiral computed tomography (CT) with that of ventilation-perfusion scintigraphy for diagnosing pulmonary embolism. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Within 48 hours of presentation, 142 patients suspected of having pulmonary embolism underwent spiral CT, scintigraphy, and (when indicated) pulmonary angiography. Pulmonary angiography was attempted if interpretations of spiral CT scans and of scintigrams were discordant or indeterminate and intermediate-probability, respectively. RESULTS: In the 139 patients who completed the study, interpretations of spiral CT scans and of scintigrams were concordant in 103 patients (29 with embolism, 74 without). In 20 patients, intermediate-probability scintigrams were interpreted (six with embolism at angiography, 14 without); diagnosis with spiral CT was correct in 16. Interpretations of spiral CT scans and those of scintigrams were discordant in 12 cases; diagnosis with spiral CT was correct in 11 cases and that with scintigraphy was correct in one. Spiral CT and scintigraphic scans of four patients with embolism did not show embolism. Sensitivities, specificities, and kappa values with spiral CT and scintigraphy were 87%, 95%, and 0.85 and 65%, 94%, and 0.61, respectively. CONCLUSION: In cases of pulmonary embolism, sensitivity of spiral CT is greater than that of scintigraphy. Interobserver agreement is better with spiral CT.
Department of Radiology, University of Vienna, Austria.
BACKGROUND: The objective of this study was to determine the nature of sonographically observed band-shaped, homogeneous, almost echo-free structures located ventral to the right ventricle of the heart in heart transplant recipients. METHODS: A total of 212 consecutive heart transplant recipients was evaluated sonographically. RESULTS: In 18 of the 212 patients (8.5%) band-shaped structures were detected, and these structures were proved with computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging to be caused by mediastinal fat. CONCLUSIONS: A sonographically demonstrable, almost echo-free band-shaped structure located ventral to the heart should not be misinterpreted as localized pericardial effusion.
Staging with computed tomography, transrectal ultrasonography and transurethral resection of bladder tumour: comparison with final pathological stage in invasive bladder carcinoma.
Department of Urology, School of Medicine, University of Ankara, Turkey.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the accuracy of clinical staging methods in patients with locally advanced bladder cancer. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Sixty-five patients with invasive bladder cancer primarily staged using transrectal ultrasonography (TRUS), computed tomography (CT) and transurethral resection of the bladder tumour (TURBT) were compared with the final pathological stage determined after radical cystectomy. RESULTS: Accurate staging was obtained by TRUS, CT and TURBT in 40, 35 and 46% of the patients, respectively. The rank correlation between primary clinical stage and final pathological stages was significant by all three methods, but not close. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study raise doubts about the assumed benefit of TRUS and CT in the clinical staging of invasive bladder tumours. These methods did not improve the findings obtained by TURBT alone.
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Trondheim University Hospital, Norway.
Both computed tomography (CT) and ultrasonography have been used successfully to estimate the femoral anteversion (AV) angle. In this study, AV angles in 20 human adult femurs were determined by ultrasonography and CT and the measurements compared. On CT the real AV angle was measured as the angle between the head-neck centreline and the posterior condylar plane. In addition, the angle between the anterior head-trochanter (HT) tangent and the posterior condylar plane was determined. The latter angle was also measured by ultrasonography using the tilted transducer technique. The mean interobserver variation in the ultrasound measurements was 1.9 degrees. We found ultrasonography to correlate very well with CT, both when comparing with the HT angle (r = 0.95) and with the AV angle (r = 0.93). The HT angle was on average 4 degrees greater than the AV angle. In this study the accuracy of ultrasonography was +/- 5 degrees and the method is recommended for screening in patients with rotational disorders of the femur.