Urocystolith detection: Comparison of survey, contrast radiographic and ultrasonographic techniques in an in vitro bladder phantom

Ralph C. Weichselbaum, Daniel A. Feeney, Carl R. Jessen, Carl A. Osborne, V. Dreytser, J. Holte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Urocystoliths of 9 mineral types from 437 canine patients submitted to the University of Minnesota Urolith Bank were imaged in a urinary bladder phantom. Imaging techniques simulated were survey radiography, pneumocystography, double contrast cystography (two iodine concentrations) and real-time ultrasonography (3.5 MHz, 5.0 MHz, 7.5 MHz). Imaging techniques were compared for accuracy of urocystolith detection, accuracy of urocystolith enumeration, and tendencies for over or undercounting. Across urocystolith mineral types, the false negative rates (no urocystoliths detected in a given case) for survey radiographs range from 2 to 27%. Pneumocystographic techniques are one-half as likely to yield false negative results as are survey radiographic techniques. Underestimates of urocystolith numbers and false negatives are likely using 80 mg iodine/ml double contrast cystography because calcium-based urocystoliths are isopaque in this contrast medium dilution. The 200 mg iodine/ml double contrast cystographic techniques are unlikely to yield false negative diagnoses even for very small (≤ 1.0 mm) urocystoliths and is comparable to pneumocystography for detection and slightly better for enumeration. The likelihood of an ultrasonographic false negative for urocystoliths decreases with increasing MHz. Under optimal conditions using a 7.5 MHz mechanical sector transducer, the false negative rates were comparable to double contrast cystography, but rates increased notably with lower MHz transducers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)386-400
Number of pages15
JournalVeterinary Radiology and Ultrasound
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999


  • Cystography
  • Detection
  • Ultrasound
  • Urocystolith


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