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Safety of retrograde pyelography for infected ureteral stones
Department of Urology, Detroit Medical Center, Detroit, Michigan, USA
Feb  2020 (Vol.  27, Issue  1, Pages( 10130 - 10134)
PMID: 32065871


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    Initial management of obstructing ureteral stones with concomitant urinary tract infection (UTI) includes prompt renal decompression and antibiotics. Some urologists theorize that performing retrograde pyelography (RGP) at the time of ureteral stent placement may cause pyelovenous backflow of bacteria thereby worsening clinical outcomes. We compared outcomes in patients with infected ureteral stones who underwent RGP versus no RGP prior to stent placement.


    A retrospective chart review was conducted involving patients who presented between 2015 and 2017 with an obstructing ureteral stone and associated UTI. Computed tomography scans were evaluated for stone size and location. Operative reports were reviewed to determine whether the patient underwent RGP at time of ureteral stent placement. Demographics, perioperative information, intensive care unit (ICU) admission rate, and length of stay (LOS) were compared.


    Seventy-two patients were identified and stratified by severity of condition at presentation, including UTI without sepsis (n = 18), sepsis (n = 32), severe sepsis (n = 11), and septic shock (n = 11). Forty-three patients underwent RGP at the time of stent placement, and 29 did not. Between both patient cohorts, statistical analysis revealed no significant difference in postoperative ICU admission rate (p = 0.35) or LOS for patients with UTI without sepsis (p = 0.17), sepsis (p = 0.45), severe sepsis (p = 0.66), and septic shock (p = 0.25).


    The use of RGP prior to ureteral stent placement for an obstructing ureteral stone with concomitant UTI was not associated with unfavorable clinical outcomes in our retrospective series. While these findings support the safety of RGP in this setting, prospective trials are warranted.