Endourology survey on radiation exposure and post-ureteroscopy US and CT reveals a need for clear guidelines.

Nephrolithiasis patients undergo repeated imaging increasing their radiation risk. Guidelines recommend imaging following ureteroscopic lithotripsy (URSL), but not the modality or frequency of imaging. As such, we sought to elucidate common imaging practices following URSL and current knowledge of radiation exposure among endourologists.

A web-based survey of Endourological Society members was used to evaluate knowledge and clinical practices regarding radiation exposure in post-URSL imaging. Respondents were grouped by years of experience (< 10, >= 10 years) and geographic location (USA or non-USA). An interaction term was included in the models to allow response rate to vary across experience level with geographic location and P values were derived from model main effects.

A total of 309 respondents answered the survey out of the 1800 active members of the Endourological Society that received the survey (17.2% total response rate). 204 of the respondents were included in our analysis as fellowship trained endourologists that perform URSL with a mean of 13.3 years in practice (IQR 6.75, 20 years). Overall, routine postoperative imaging is performed by 92% of respondents: 97% in the USA and 88% outside the US (P = 0.143). 39% of respondents correctly estimated standard dose CT scan (SCT) dose, while 36% correctly estimated that of a low-dose CT scan (LCT). American urologists correctly identified the SCT radiation dose more often than non-US respondents (54% vs 32%, respectively) (P value = 0.004). Respondents with < 10 years of experience more frequently identified the correct SCT dose (52% vs. 34%, respectively), though not significantly so (P value = 0.171). 79% of respondents consider LCT quality to be similar to SCT and 50% would use LCT on obese patients. However, only 26% of respondents identified that image quality deteriorates with BMI > 30 kg/m2.

We demonstrate a knowledge gap regarding radiation exposure during CT scans and the limitations of low-dose CT imaging. This gap is wider in non-US-based urologists and in those with over 10 years of experience. However, all urologists would benefit from improved education and clear guidelines regarding radiation exposure in nephrolithiasis patients.

World journal of urology. 2020 Mar 21 [Epub ahead of print]

Ohad Kott, Jorge Pereira, Alison Chambers, Gyan Pareek

Minimally Invasive Urology Institute, The Miriam Hospital, Providence, RI, USA. ., Department of Urology, Mount Sinai Medical Center, Miami, FL, USA., Warren Alpert School of Medicine at Brown University, Providence, RI, USA., Minimally Invasive Urology Institute, The Miriam Hospital, Providence, RI, USA.