ORLANDO, FL USA (UroToday.com) - Nephrolithiasis is usually not evaluated with ultrasonography due to its poor accuracy and variability in detecting stones. Franklin Lee and colleagues utilized computer assistance to augment ultrasound stone sizing.
The researchers imaged calcium oxalate stones in a water bath using ultrasound and C5-2 transducer. Stones were imaged at different depths. The ultrasound data was analyzed using ray line imaging (RL), flash angle imaging (FA) and harmonic imaging (HI). Stone width was measured using an edge detection algorithm based on gray scale intensity. Groups were then compared to assess whether the accuracy and reliability of stone detection improved with the use of these imaging techniques.
The authors reported on a total of 45 stones and 180 measurements. With the use of an automated program, they were able to measure 88% of stones. HI was a found to be a better predictor of true stone size for depths of 6 and 14 cm (p < 0.001) while no difference was reported between HI, FA, and RI at 10cm. Interestingly, RL was a better predictor of stone size when compared to FA and HI.
The authors concluded that the use of automated algorithms alongside ultrasound can improve the accuracy and reliability of stone detection that is currently lacking in ultrasound. This technology has great potential in the clinical setting as radiation is a major concern in patients. Currently, CT imaging is often used to accurately assess stone size and other stone characteristics. However, with the introduction of these computer algorithms assisting ultrasound technology, renal stone evaluation can head into the no-radiation direction.
Presented by Franklin Lee, MD at the American Urological Association (AUA) Annual Meeting - May 16 - 21, 2014 - Orlando, Florida USA
Seattle, WA USA
Written by Garen Abedi, MD, University of California (Irvine), and medical writer for UroToday.com