Plain Film Radiography

The KUB (kidneys, ureters, and bladder) is a plain full-length film of the abdomen. The kidneys can be visualized because the perinephric fat gives them a lucent outline. Renal calculi can usually be visualized, but small ureteral calculi may be hidden by bowel shadows. Calculi in the lower ureters may be confused with phleboliths and can be difficult to differentiate. The KUB by itself rarely adds to patient care in the ED and is most useful in conjunction with ultrasound or intravenous pyelography (IVP) (see below).

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