The success of extracorporeal shock-wave lithotripsy based on the stone-attenuation value from non-contrast computed tomography

Arab J Urol. 2014 Jun;12(2):155-61. doi: 10.1016/j.aju.2014.01.002. Epub 2014 Feb 16.


Objective: To determine the utility of the urinary stone-attenuation value (SAV, in Hounsfield units, HU) from non-contrast computed tomography (NCCT) for predicting the success of extracorporeal shock-wave lithotripsy (ESWL).

Patients and methods: The study included 305 patients with renal calculi of ⩽30 mm and upper ureteric calculi of ⩽20 mm. The SAV was measured using NCCT. Numerical variables were compared using a one-way analysis of variance with posthoc multiple two-group comparisons. Univariate and multivariate regression analysis models were used to test the preferential effect of the independent variable(s) on the success of ESWL.

Results: Patients were grouped according to the SAV as group 1 (⩽500 HU, 81 patients), group 2 (501-1000 HU, 141 patients) and group 3 (>1000 HU, 83 patients). ESWL was successful in 253 patients (83%). The rate of stone clearance was 100% in group 1, 95.7% (135/141) in group 2 and 44.6% (37/83) in group 3 (P = 0.001).

Conclusions: The SAV value is an independent predictor of the success of ESWL and a useful tool for planning stone treatment. Patients with a SAV ⩾956 HU are not ideal candidates for ESWL. The inclusion criteria for ESWL of stones with a SAV <500 HU can be expanded with regard to stone size, site, age, renal function and coagulation profile. In patients with a SAV of 500-1000 HU, factors like a body mass index of >30 kg/m(2) and a lower calyceal location make them less ideal for ESWL.

Keywords: BMI; BMI, body mass index; ESWL; HU, Hounsfield unit; Lower calyceal stone; NCCT, non-contrast computed tomography; ROC, receiver operating characteristic (curve); SAV, stone-attenuation value; Stone attenuation value; US, ultrasonography; Urinary calculi.