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Multidetector CT Cystography Accurately Detects Urine Leaks after Prostatectomy

Multidetector CT (MDCT) cystography (diagnostic procedure used to examine the bladder) can be used to detect vesicourethral leaks (a common problem) after prostatectomy according to a study that was performed at the Seoul National University College of Medicine in the Republic of Korea.

Forty six patients who underwent prostatectomies were included in the study. 51 sets of MDCT and conventional cystographic images were evaluated. Results showed that the urinary leak detection rate using MDCT cystography was 80.4%; that compares to the 54.3% detection rate using conventional cystography," said Dr. Sung IL Hwang, MD, lead author of the study.

"MDCT can show the leakage point and the dimension of the defects which can help the clinician make a better treatment plan," said Dr. Hwang.

"Prolonged leaks can cause urinary incontinence. In our study 37 out of 46 patients encountered vesicourethral leaks and an early and correct diagnosis of these leaks can eventually minimize urinary incontinence," said Dr. Hwang.

"From an economical standpoint, early detection of urinary leaks by MDCT cystography is also beneficial because it can reduce a patient's hospital stay. However we are not recommending this exam for everyone who has a prostatectomy because the exam includes radiation," said Dr. Hwang. "We are recommending it for patients with a higher risk of leakage, for example, cases with technical difficulties during the anastomosis procedure or cases with short length of membranous urethra shown in preoperative MRI," he said.


News release from The American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS) on December 1, 2008.

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