Trends in imaging use during the emergency department evaluation of flank pain

The Journal of UrologyHyams ES et al. | November 21, 2011

Between 2000 and 2008 there was a significant increase in computerized tomography use for the emergency evaluation of patients with flank pain.

Methods

  • Authors performed a retrospective, cross–sectional analysis of emergency department visits using data on 2000 to 2008 from the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey.
  • Specific visits for a complaint of flank or kidney pain were further analyzed.

Results

  • During the study period there was a significant increase in computerized tomography use (p <0.0001) and a significant decrease in x–ray use (p = 0.035) while ultrasound use remained stable (p = 0.803).
  • During that period the proportion of patients with flank pain who were diagnosed with a kidney stone remained stable at approximately 20% (p = 0.135).

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