International cooperation in endourology: percutaneous and flexible ureteroscopic treatment of lower pole kidney stones

Sanguedolce, Francesco (2011) International cooperation in endourology: percutaneous and flexible ureteroscopic treatment of lower pole kidney stones, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze nefrologiche ed uro-andrologiche, 22 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/3891.
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Introduction Lower pole kidney stones represent at time a challenge for the urologist. The gold standard treatment for intrarenal stones <2 cm is Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL) while for those >2 cm is Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (PCNL). The success rate of ESWL, however, decreases when it is employed for lower pole stones, and this is particularly true in the presence of narrow calices or acute infundibular angles. Studies have proved that ureteroscopy (URS) is an efficacious alternative to ESWL for lower pole stones <2 cm, but this is not reflected by either the European or the American guidelines. The aim of this study is to present the results of a large series of flexible ureteroscopies and PCNLs for lower pole kidney stones from high-volume centers, in order to provide more evidences on the potential indications of the flexible ureteroscopy for the treatment of kidney stones. Materials and Methods A database was created and the participating centres retrospectively entered their data relating to the percutaneous and flexible ureteroscopic management of lower pole kidney stones. Patients included were treated between January 2005 and January 2010. Variables analyzed included case load number, preoperative and postoperative imaging, stone burden, anaesthesia (general vs. spinal), type of lithotripter, access location and size, access dilation type, ureteral access sheath use, visual clarity, operative time, stone-free rate, complication rate, hospital stay, analgesic requirement and follow-up time. Stone-free rate was defined as absence of residual fragments or presence of a single fragment <2 mm in size at follow-up imaging. Primary end-point was to test the efficacy and safety of flexible URS for the treatment of lower pole stones; the same descriptive analysis was conducted for the PCNL approach, as considered the gold standard for the treatment of lower pole kidney stones. In this setting, no statistical analysis was conducted owing to the different selection criteria of the patients. Secondary end-point consisted in matching the results of stone-free rates, operative time and complications rate of flexible URS and PCNL in the subgroup of patients harbouring lower pole kidney stones between 1 and 2 cm in the higher diameter. Results A total 246 patients met the criteria for inclusion. There were 117 PCNLs (group 1) and 129 flexible URS (group 2). Ninety-six percent of cases were diagnosed by CT KUB scan. Mean stone burden was 175±160 and 50±62 mm2 for groups 1 and 2, respectively. General anaesthesia was induced in 100 % and 80% of groups 1 and 2, respectively. Pneumo-ultrasonic energy was used in 84% of cases in the PCNL group, and holmium laser in 95% of the cases in the flexible URS group. The mean operative time was 76.9±44 and 63±37 minutes for groups 1 and 2 respectively. There were 12 major complications (11%) in group 1 (mainly Grade II complications according to Clavidien classification) and no major complications in group 2. Mean hospital stay was 5.7 and 2.6 days for groups 1 and 2, respectively. Ninety-five percent of group 1 and 52% of group 2 required analgesia for a period longer than 24 hours. Intraoperative stone-free rate after a single treatment was 88.9% for group 1 and 79.1% for group 2. Overall, 6% of group 1 and 14.7% of group 2 required a second look procedure. At 3 months, stone-free rates were 90.6% and 92.2% for groups 1 and 2, respectively, as documented by follow-up CT KUB (22%) or combination of intra-venous pyelogram, regular KUB and/or kidney ultrasound (78%). In the subanalysis conducted comparing 82 vs 65 patients who underwent PCNL and flexible URS for lower pole stones between 1 and 2 cm, intreoperative stone-free rates were 88% vs 68% (p= 0.03), respectively; anyway, after an auxiliary procedure which was necessary in 6% of the cases in group 1 and 23% in group 2 (p=0.03), stone-free rates at 3 months were not statistically significant (91.5% vs 89.2%; p=0.6). Conversely, the patients undergoing PCNL maintained a higher risk of complications during the procedure, with 9 cases observed in this group versus 0 in the group of patients treated with URS (p=0.01) Conclusions These data highlight the value of flexible URS as a very effective and safe option for the treatment of kidney stones; thanks to the latest generation of flexible devices, this new technical approach seems to be a valid alternative in particular for the treatment of lower pole kidney stones less than 2 cm. In high-volume centres and in the hands of skilled surgeons, this technique can approach the stone-free rates achievable through PCNL in lower pole stones between 1 and 2 cm, with a very low risk of complications. Furthermore, the results confirm the high success rate and relatively low morbidity of modern PCNL for lower pole stones, with no difference detectable between the prone and supine position.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Sanguedolce, Francesco
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze mediche e chirurgiche cliniche
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
urolithiasis lower pole stones flexible ureteroscopy percutaneous nephrolithotomy
Data di discussione
20 Maggio 2011

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