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J Korean Radiol Soc. 2000 Jul;43(1):81-85. Korean. Original Article.
Kim JC , Han KT .
Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Chungnam National University School of Medicine, Korea.

PURPOSE: Central lucency of pelvic phleboliths is frequently observed on plain pelvic radiographs. When it is also present on noncontrast helical CT images, pelvic phleboliths may be easily diagnosed, with no suspicion of distal ureteral calculi. The objective of this study was to determine the frequency with which this phenome-non is seen on plain radiographs and noncontrast helical CT images. MATERIALS AND METHODS: During a recent two-year period we identified 70 patients with renal colic who under-went both abdomino-pelvic radiography and noncontrast helical CT scanning. Radiographs were obtained at 70 -85 kVp and 30 -40 mA; CT scans were preformed within one month of plain radiography with parameters of 120 kVp, 200 -220 mA, 5-mm collimation, and pitch of 1 -1.6, and using soft tissue and bone window settings. With regared to the central lucency of pelvic phleboliths, as seen on both on radiographs and CT im-ages, two experienced radiologists reached a consensus. RESULTS: Among the 70 patients, a total of 150 pelvic phleboliths was found. In all cases except one, pelvic radi-ography and noncontrast helical CT revealed the same number of phleboliths. The exception was a case in which one of two phleboliths demonstrated by CT was not seen on radiographs. Pelvic radiography revealed central lucency in 95 of these 150 phleboliths (63%), but noncontrast helical CT failed to depict a hypodense center in any phlebolith. CONCLUSION: Central lucency of pelvic phleboliths, as frequently seen on plain pelvic radiographs, was not revealed by routine noncontrast helical CT in any patient.The presence or absence of central lucency on these CT images cannot, therefore, be used to differentiate phleboliths from distal ureteral calculi.

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