Value of noncontrast computer tomography in predicting the characteristics of obstructive uropathy

Clin Imaging. 2022 Feb:82:53-57. doi: 10.1016/j.clinimag.2021.10.015. Epub 2021 Nov 5.


Objective: To explore the diagnostic value of noncontrast computed tomography (NCCT) in differentiating pyonephrosis from nonpyogenic hydronephrosis on the basis of CT values (in Horsfield unit [HU]).

Methods: Data from patients diagnosed with obstructive uropathy at the First affiliated hospital of University of South China from November 2017 to January 2021 were subjected to retrospective analysis. In accordance with the gold standard-the presence of pus during the operation-all patients were divided into the nonpyogenic hydronephrosis group and the pyonephrosis group. The relationship between CT values and the presence or absence of pyonephrosis was performed using binary logistic regression. A receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was constructed to determine threshold values for classification on the basis of mean HU.

Results: A total of 207 patients, including 100 males and 107 females, were enrolled. Out of the 207 cases, 124 cases of obstructive uropathy were nonpyogenic hydronephrosis and 83 cases were of pyonephrosis. The CT values of the pyonephrosis group were significantly higher than that of the nonpyogenic hydronephrosis group (t = 9.15, P < 0.05). The CT values were dependent on the presence or absence of pyonephrosis (P < 0.05). A HU threshold value of 9.75 could be applied to diagnose the presence of pyonephrosis.

Conclusion: The CT values of hydronephrosis might predict the presence of pyonephrosis in the kidney, and the CT value of 9.75 HU might be the appropriate threshold for its prediction.

Keywords: CT values; Noncontrast computed tomography; Nonpyogenic hydronephrosis; Pyonephrosis; Urinary tract infection.

MeSH terms

  • Computers
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydronephrosis* / diagnostic imaging
  • Male
  • Pyonephrosis*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed