Purpose: In urolithiasis patients, preoperative non-contrast computed tomography (NCCT) commonly fails to provide sufficient distention of the renal collecting system to allow reliable preoperative planning for how best to approach a stone. Our objective was to evaluate the effect of a novel protocol, including oral hydration and an oral diuretic, on the distention of the renal collecting system. Patients and Methods: Twenty patients with a prior NCCT, who were scheduled to undergo a subsequent NCCT for urolithiasis assessment, were enrolled. Each patient was instructed to ingest 1 L of water and 20 mg of oral furosemide 30 to 60 minutes before their scan (DRINK [DiuResIs Enhanced Non-contrast Computed Tomography for Kidney Stones] protocol). Patients' prior NCCT scan (non-DRINK) was used for comparison. Three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction of DRINK and non-DRINK NCCT studies was performed to determine the volume and surface area of the collecting system. In addition, three faculty endourologists measured the width of the upper and lower pole infundibula and renal pelvis in the axial, coronal, and sagittal views. Results: Among the 20 patients, 13 completed the DRINK protocol as specified. For these 13 patients, 3D reconstruction of the DRINK study collecting systems showed a 63% and a 36% increase in collecting system volume and surface area, respectively (p = 0.02 and p < 0.01, respectively). Also, measurements of the CT images demonstrated a significant (p < 0.05) increase in the collecting system widths in 67% of measurements. Conclusion: The DRINK protocol significantly increased the visible collecting system volume and surface area; in the majority of cases, the upper and lower pole infundibular widths and the width of the renal pelvis were also expanded.
Keywords: diuresis; hydration protocol; non-contrast computed tomography; stone protocol.