Flexible ureteroscopy in conjunction with in situ lithotripsy for lower pole calculi.
OBJECTIVES: To demonstrate the efficacy and safety of ureteroscopy as a compromise in treating small and intermediate-size lower pole calculi. The optimal management of lower pole calculi remains controversial. Shock wave lithotripsy is associated with minimal morbidity but with suboptimal stone clearance rates. Conversely, percutaneous nephrostolithotomy has greater morbidity but stone-free rates greater than 90% regardless of size. METHODS: Seventy-two patients underwent ureteroscopy for lower pole calculi 2 cm or less (mean 8.7 mm) during a 3-year period. To minimize confounding, 11 patients with additional calculi at other ipsilateral renal sites and 1 patient with large (2.4 cm each) bilateral calculi were excluded. Two patients with bilateral lower pole calculi and four who required a second procedure were included in the analysis. Thus, the final cohort consisted of 60 patients who underwent 66 procedures. RESULTS: Of patients with follow-up longer than 1 month, 79% were stone free after a single procedure, and this improved to 88% after a second procedure in 4 patients. All 7 patients with follow-up less than 1 month had a reduction in stone burden after successful fragmentation. Overall, 8 patients required an auxiliary procedure. No intraoperative complications, and 7 (11%) postoperative complications occurred. CONCLUSIONS: Ureteroscopy for lower pole calculi is associated with minimal morbidity and stone-free rates comparable to shock wave lithotripsy for smaller stones. The greatest utility of ureteroscopy is in the management of intermediate-size calculi, for which it has substantially higher stone-free rates and lower repeated treatment rates than does shock wave lithotripsy.
Hollenbeck, BK; Schuster, TG; Faerber, GJ; Wolf, JS
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