Contrast medium-related artifacts observed during in vitro radiographic characterization of urocystolith mineral composition

Ralph C. Weichselbaum, Daniel A. Feeney, Carl R. Jessen, Carl A. Osborne, Vladimere Dreytser, James Holte

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5 Scopus citations


Nine pure mineral types of canine uroliths (bladder or urethral origin only) were exposed to sequential increasing concentrations of iodinated, radiographic contrast medium in petri dishes. The uroliths studied were those composed of 100% magnesium ammonium phosphate, calcium oxalate monohydrate, calcium oxalate dihydrate, calcium phosphate appatite, and calcium hydrogen phosphate dihydrate (Brushite), ammonium acid urate, sodium acid urate, cystine, and silica. Two phenomena were observed. First, there was a tendency for selected urocystoliths to undergo radiopacity augmentation beyond that expected for just contrast medium superimposition. This was termed, contrast medium adhesion, which persisted despite repeated washing of the urocystoliths. Second, there was a tendency for bubbles to form on or near selected urocystolith chemical types. These observations prompted careful scrutiny for their occurrence in subsequent clinical simulation of radiographic procedures using these same urocystoliths in a urinary bladder phantom. Imaging techniques simulated were survey radiography, pneumocystography, double contrast cystography (two iodine concentrations). The contrast medium adhesion occurrence found in the petri dish studies was compared to urocystolith mineral type. Similar comparisons were made for contrast medium adhesion occurrence in the bladder phantom. The detection of contrast medium adhesion in the bladder phantom differed from that observed in the petri dish experiments. While contrast adhesion occurred across a fairly broad range of the urocystolith mineral types in the petri dish studies, it was observed primarily for sodium acid urate and cystine urocystoliths in the bladder phantom. Prompted by the observation of bubbles in association with a limited number of urocystolith types in the petri dish studies, bubble occurrence in the bladder phantom was compared to the urocystolith type. Bubble formation on or near the urocystoliths, although uncommonly observed, was seen only with either cystine or silica urocystoliths. The potential clinical utility and clinical caveat aspects of these phenomena are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-240
Number of pages6
JournalVeterinary Radiology and Ultrasound
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2000


  • Bubbles
  • Contrast medium
  • Contrast medium adhesion
  • Radiography
  • Radiopacity
  • Urocystoliths


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