Dual-Source Dual-Energy CT in Detection and Characterization of Urinary Stones in Patients With Large Body Habitus: Observations in a Large Cohort.

Authors: Kordbacheh H, Baliyan V, Uppot RN, Eisner BH, Sahani DV, Kambadakone AR
April 2nd, 2019


The objective of our study was to investigate the impact of large body habitus on dual-energy CT (DECT) image quality and stone characterization.

Materials & Methods:

We retrospectively included 105 consecutive patients with large body habitus (> 90 kg) who underwent stone protocol DECT between 2015 and 2017. The evaluation of DECT datasets was performed for image quality assessment based on European Guidelines on Quality Criteria for Computed Tomography and for determination of stone composition (i.e., uric acid vs non-uric acid). Correlation between DECT characterization and crystallography results was performed when available. The cohort was divided into two groups on the basis of body weight (≤ 104 kg and > 104 kg), and comparisons were made for image quality and stone characterization.


One hundred ninety-seven urinary tract calculi (size: mean ± SD, 5.7 ± 5.3 mm; range, 1.4-56 mm) were detected in 73% (79/108) of examinations in 105 patients (weight: mean ± SD, 104.0 ± 12.7 kg; range, 91-163 kg). The overall mean image quality score of blended images and color maps was 3.7 and 3.9, respectively, and the effective dual-energy FOV limitation did not hamper stone characterization. The diagnostic acceptability scores of blended images and color maps were slightly lower in patients weighing > 104 kg than in patients ≤ 104 kg (mean scores [highest score, 4 points]: blended images, 3.62 vs 3.82 [p = 0.0314]; color maps, 3.75 vs 3.98 [p = 0.0034]), but the scores were within acceptable range. Stone characterization as uric acid versus non-uric acid was achieved in 80% (158/197) of calculi (size: mean ± SD, 6.4 ± 5.7 mm; range, 1.6-56 mm), and DECT stone characterization was (95.6%) accurate with reference to crystallography. Twenty percent (39/197) of calculi could not be characterized on DECT, and these calculi were significantly smaller in size (size: mean ± SD, 2.8 ± 1.4 mm; range, 1.4-8.2 mm; p < 0.001) than those that could be characterized. The mean size of uncharacterized calculi was slightly larger in patients weighing > 104 kg (3.3 ± 1.6 mm) than in those weighing ≤ 104 kg (2.2 ± 0.6 mm).


In patients with large body habitus, dual-source DECT provides acceptable image quality and allows characterization of almost all clinically significant calculi.

Sara McFarland