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Advances in Urology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 606754, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/606754
Review Article

Recent Developments in Computed Tomography for Urolithiasis: Diagnosis and Characterization

Department of Radiology, Cork University Hospital and University College Cork, Cork, Ireland

Received 30 April 2012; Accepted 20 July 2012

Academic Editor: Ahmed M. Shoma

Copyright © 2012 P. D. Mc Laughlin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Objective. To critically evaluate the current literature in an effort to establish the current role of radiologic imaging, advances in computed tomography (CT) and standard film radiography in the diagnosis, and characterization of urinary tract calculi. Conclusion. CT has a valuable role when utilized prudently during surveillance of patients following endourological therapy. In this paper, we outline the basic principles relating to the effects of exposure to ionizing radiation as a result of CT scanning. We discuss the current developments in low-dose CT technology, which have resulted in significant reductions in CT radiation doses (to approximately one-third of what they were a decade ago) while preserving image quality. Finally, we will discuss an important recent development now commercially available on the latest generation of CT scanners, namely, dual energy imaging, which is showing promise in urinary tract imaging as a means of characterizing the composition of urinary tract calculi.