Urinalysis and the plain abdominal radiograph in the diagnosis of ureteric colic

Shield, Andrew C., Chu, Kevin and Brown, Anthony F. T. (2000) Urinalysis and the plain abdominal radiograph in the diagnosis of ureteric colic. Emergency Medicine Australasia, 12 2: 134-138. doi:10.1046/j.1442-2026.2000.00105.x

Author Shield, Andrew C.
Chu, Kevin
Brown, Anthony F. T.
Title Urinalysis and the plain abdominal radiograph in the diagnosis of ureteric colic
Journal name Emergency Medicine Australasia   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1742-6723
Publication date 2000-06
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1046/j.1442-2026.2000.00105.x
Volume 12
Issue 2
Start page 134
End page 138
Total pages 5
Place of publication Richmond, VIC, Australia
Publisher Wiley - Blackwell
Language eng
Formatted abstract
1. To investigate the diagnostic accuracy of urinalysis and the plain abdominal radiograph in predicting positive intravenous pyelography for patients with a history and examination suggestive of ureteric colic.
2. To examine the disposition of patients presenting to the emergency department with ureteric colic.

A retrospective cohort study set in a tertiary referral hospital emergency department over a 12-month period was conducted. Three hundred and eighteen patients who presented with a provisional diagnosis of ureteric colic and had intravenous pyelography were identified from radiology department logs and emergency department discharge International Classification of Disease-9 codes.

Three hundred and eighteen patients were identified. Sixty-nine per cent had positive intravenous pyelography. Sensitivity and specificity of: urinalysis were 93% and 41%; abdominal X-ray, 57% and 83%; and urinalysis plus abdominal X-ray, 99% and 36%, respectively. Seventy-seven per cent were admitted to the emergency department observation ward. Twenty-seven per cent were subsequently admitted under the hospital's urology service.


Sex, haematuria and the presence of a calculus on abdominal X-ray were all significant predictors of positive intravenous pyelography. Haematuria was sensitive but not specific for positive intravenous pyelography. The addition of the abdominal X-ray marginally improves the diagnostic accuracy.
Keyword Diagnostic accuracy
Intravenous pyelography
Renal calculi
Ureteric colic
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ
Additional Notes Official Journal of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine and the Australasian Society for Emergency Medicine

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Medicine Publications
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Created: Wed, 02 Mar 2011, 15:31:04 EST by Dr Kevin Chu on behalf of Royal Brisbane Clinical School