CT urography – a practical guide

Author(s): Dr Steven Kennish, Dr Rachel Hubbard

Hospital: Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Reference: RAD Magazine, 48, 562, 19-21


The constituent organs of the urinary system – the kidneys, ureters and bladder (KUB) – are not readily amenable to clinical examination. Symptoms such as flank pain, urinary hesitancy or frank haematuria, and signs such as persistent non-visible haematuria and acute kidney injury, all require further investigation. Renal tract stones, infection and cancer are the three most common pathologies to exclude and underlying anatomical variants may predispose to the development of each of these. Malignancies have a much better prognosis if diagnosed at an earlier stage or lower histological grade.

Computed tomography urography (CTU) provides the most comprehensive single evaluation of the urinary tract, demonstrating both intraluminal and extraluminal pathology. The basic definition of CTU is an excretory/urographic phase CT scan where contrast opacifies the lumen of the urinary system.

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