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Interdisciplinary planning improves radiologist obtained access for percutaneous nephrolithotomy
Department of Urology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Oct  2023 (Vol.  30, Issue  5, Pages( 11692 - 11697)
PMID: 37838997


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  • Introduction:

    Proper antegrade access for percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL) is essential for success but can be challenging. Previous work evaluating access obtained by interventional radiology (IR), largely in the emergent setting, has shown high rates of additional access at the time of PCNL. We hypothesize that efforts to improve pre-procedural communication between urology and IR can impact the utility of the access for subsequent PCNL.

    Material and methods:

    We conducted a retrospective review of patients undergoing PCNL at a single hospital from January 2011 to December 2022. Adult patients undergoing PCNL with established preoperative access were included.


    A total of 141 cases were identified with preoperative access. A total of 111 patients had evidence of planning with IR prior to antegrade access. There were high rates of anatomic abnormality (50%) and staghorn calculus (53%). Patients with planned access had higher body mass index (BMI). While preoperative access was initially utilized in 97% of cases, 6% required additional access to be obtained intraoperatively; this included a low rate of new access in those that were previously discussed with IR (4% vs. 17%, p = 0.02). Overall stone free rates (91%), rates of second stage procedures (55%) and complications (14%) were similar between planned and unplanned groups.


    In this retrospective study of complex patients with large stone burden presenting for PCNL with preoperative antegrade access obtained by IR, the rate of new access was far lower than prior reports. This was likely influenced by urologist involvement in planning access.