Purpose: The purpose of this study was to measure the accuracy of stone-specific algorithms (S-mode) and the posterior acoustic shadow for determining kidney stone size with ultrasound (US) in vivo. Materials and Methods: Thirty-four subjects with 115 renal stones were prospectively recruited and scanned with S-mode on a research US system. S-mode is gray-scale US adjusted to enhanced stone contrast and resolution by minimizing compression and averaging, and increasing line density and frequency. Stone and shadow width were compared with a recent CT scan and, in 5 subjects with 18 stones, S-mode was compared with a clinical US system. Results: Overall, 84% of stones identified on CT were detected on S-mode and 66% of these shadowed. Seventy-three percent of the stone measurements and 85% of the shadow measurements were within 2 mm of the size on CT. A posterior acoustic shadow was present in 89% of stones over 5 mm versus 53% of stones under 5 mm. S-mode visualized 78% of stones, versus 61% for the clinical system. S-mode stone and shadow measurements differed from CT by 1.6 ± 1.0 mm and 0.8 ± 0.6 mm, respectively, compared with 2.0 ± 1.5 mm and 1.6 ± 1.0 mm for the clinical system. Conclusions: S-mode offers improved visualization and sizing of renal stones. With S-mode, sizing of the stone itself and the posterior acoustic shadow were similarly accurate. Stones that do not shadow are most likely <5 mm and small enough to pass spontaneously.
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