Dual-energy CT for quantification of urinary stone composition in mixed stones: A phantom study

Shuai Leng, Alice Huang, Juan Montoya Cardona, Xinhui Duan, James C. Williams, Cynthia H. McCollough

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility of using dual-energy CT to accurately quantify uric acid and non-uric acid components in urinary stones of mixed composition. MATERIALS AND METHODS. A total of 24 urinary stones were analyzed with micro CT to serve as the reference standard for uric acid and non-uric acid composition. These stones were placed in water phantoms to simulate body attenuation of slim to obese adults and scanned with a third-generation dual-source CT scanner by use of dual-energy modes adaptively selected on the basis of phantom size. CT number ratio, which is distinct for different materials, was calculated for each pixel of the stones. Each pixel was then classified as uric acid and non-uric acid by comparison of the CT number ratio with preset thresholds ranging from 1.10 to 1.70. Minimal, maximal, and root-mean-square errors were calculated by comparing composition with the reference standard, and the threshold with the minimal root-mean-square error was determined. A paired t test was performed to compare the stone composition determined with dual-energy CT with the reference standard obtained with micro CT. RESULTS. The optimal CT number ratio threshold ranged from 1.27 to 1.55, dependent on phantom size. The root-mean-square error ranged from 9.60% to 12.87% across all phantom sizes. Minimal absolute error ranged from 0.04% to 1.24% and maximal absolute error from 22.05% to 35.46%. Dual-energy CT and the reference micro CT did not differ significantly on uric acid and non-uric acid composition (paired t test, p = 0.20-0.96). CONCLUSION. Accurate quantification of uric acid and non-uric acid composition in mixed stones is possible with dual-energy CT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-329
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2016


  • Dual-energy CT
  • Mixed stones
  • Stone composition
  • Urinary stones

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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