The degree of hydronephrosis may predict ureteral stone size, according to a study published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine (2010;28:813-816).

Jacob K. Goertz, MD, and Seth Lotterman, MD, of Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y., studied 177 patients who had focused emergency renal ultrasound scans and ureteral stones confirmed by computed tomography. The researchers grouped stones according to size—5 mm or less and larger than 5 mm—based on likelihood of spontaneous passage. Hydronephrosis severity was determined by the performing physician.

Patients no or mild hydronephrosis were significantly less likely to have ureteral calculi larger than 5 mm than those with moderate or severe hydronephrosis (12.4% vs. 35.4%).

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