Point-of-Care ultrasound helps detect stones

11.12.2017

By Dr. Marco Raber, Consultant Urologist, Emirates Hospital, Dubai.

Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) refers to the use of portable ultrasonography at a patient's bedside for diagnostic.

Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) refers to the use of portable ultrasonography at a patient's bedside for diagnostic.

It has only moderate accuracy for urolithiasis diagnosis, according to a new systematic review.

However, the diagnostic accuracy increases if POCUS is associated to urinalysis. The presence of hydronephrosis (kidney dilation due to acute ureteral obstruction and back pressure) and microhematuria, in fact, enhance the diagnosis of ureteric stone.

While it's not necessarily the best option for diagnosis, it can be a useful tool for imaging symptomatic emergency department patients. Ultrasound allows faster imaging than computed tomography (CT) without ionizing radiation and likely costs less.

It would be reasonable to use POCUS as the first line of imaging in the evaluation of patients with suspected urolithiasis.

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