Renal Colic Imaging: Myths, Recent Trends, and Controversies

Abdullah Alabousi, Michael N. Patlas, Vincent M. Mellnick, Victoria Chernyak, Nataly Farshait, Douglas S. Katz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


There has been a substantial increase in the utilization of imaging, particularly of multi-detector computed tomography (MDCT), for the evaluation of patients with suspected urolithiasis over the past 2 decades. While the diagnostic accuracy of computed tomography (CT) for urolithiasis is excellent, it has also resulted in substantial medical expenditures and increased ionizing radiation exposure. This is especially concerning in patients with known nephrolithiasis and in younger patients. This pictorial review will focus on recent trends and controversies in imaging of patients with suspected urolithiasis, including the current roles of ultrasound (US), MDCT, and magnetic resonance imaging, the estimated radiation dose from MDCT and dose reduction strategies, as well as imaging of suspected renal colic in pregnant patients. The current epidemiological, clinical, and practice management literature will be appraised.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)164-171
Number of pages8
JournalCanadian Association of Radiologists Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2019


  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Multi-detector computed tomography
  • Renal colic
  • Ultrasound
  • Urolithiasis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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