Comparison of outcomes of ureteroscopy for ureteral calculi located above and below the pelvic brim.
OBJECTIVES: To compare the safety and efficacy of ureteroscopy performed for proximal and distal ureteral calculi in a contemporary cohort. Ureteroscopy has been used most often for distal ureteral calculi. However, advances in endoscopic equipment have facilitated access to the proximal urinary tract and have broadened the indications for ureteroscopy. METHODS: One hundred ninety-one patients underwent rigid and/or flexible ureteroscopy for ureteral calculi at the University of Michigan between January 1, 1997 and September 30, 1999. Only 7 patients with either bilateral calculi or steinstrasse were excluded. The final cohort consisted of 184 patients who underwent ureteroscopy for distal stones (n = 103) or middle/upper ureteral stones (n = 81). RESULTS: Bivariate analyses of pretreatment and perioperative characteristics were used to assess the sample population. The initial success rate for the distal and proximal ureteral calculi was 96% and 78%, respectively (P = 0.0008). After a "second-look" procedure in 4 and 7 patients with distal and proximal calculi, respectively, the success rate improved to 99% and 88%, respectively (P = 0.004). No differences were noted between groups regarding the intraoperative (P = 0.51) or postoperative (P = 0.85) complication rates. Multivariate logistic regression analysis confirmed that larger stone size (odds ratio 1.2, P = 0.0006) and proximal ureteral location (odds ratio 4.8, P = 0.01) are independent predictors of treatment failure. CONCLUSIONS: Ureteroscopic management of proximal and distal ureteral calculi is highly successful, and the difference in success rates has narrowed substantially. Currently, no greater risk is conferred to the patient for endoscopy of more proximal ureteral calculi.
Hollenbeck, BK; Schuster, TG; Faerber, GJ; Wolf, JS
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