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How many renal colic patients undergo the recommended computed tomography? The Pennine Acute Trust Audit
Non-contrast computed tomography (NCCT) is recommended by the British Association of Urological Surgeons (BAUS) guidelines for suspected renal calculi as this form of imaging offers kidney stone identification in > 99% of cases. We used the picture archiving and communications system (PACS) and automated letter systems to determine how many of the 144 patients admitted to the surgical triage unit (STU) at North Manchester General Hospital over the course of 14 months did in fact have renal colic, which radiological investigations were performed, how many patients with suspected renal colic underwent NCCT within 24 hours or 48 hours and how many underwent intervention. We found that only 19.8% of patients underwent NCCT within 24 hours and 22.9% within 24–48 hours. However, only three patients (3.12%) required an intervention related to this presentation. These low rates of intervention support the conclusions of other authors who believe that a combination of ultrasound and abdominal radiography in cases of suspected renal colic may be preferable to NCCT, which is costly and potentially harmful.