JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Percutaneous nephrolithotomy in the pediatric population.

Journal of Urology 1999 November
PURPOSE: Percutaneous nephrolithotomy is an established technique used in children with renal calculi. We review our experience with percutaneous nephrolithotomy for treating nephrolithiasis in childhood.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed the records of children who underwent percutaneous nephrolithotomy procedures for renal calculi from 1985 to 1996. Antegrade percutaneous access was obtained in all patients and the tract was dilated to 24F. Grasper forceps, ultrasound and/or electrohydraulic lithotripsy was used to remove and disintegrate stones. In all patients a nephrostomy tube was placed intraoperatively, and a plain abdominal x-ray and nephrostogram were done postoperatively. The nephrostomy tube was removed after ensuring free drainage down the ureter and no untoward effects from clamping. Complete anatomical and metabolic evaluation was performed in all cases. Patients were followed 2 to 6 weeks, and 3 and 6 months postoperatively with a plain abdominal x-ray and excretory urography or renal ultrasound.

RESULTS: In 5 boys and 3 girls (9 renal units) 4 to 11 years old (mean age 6.4) a total of 10 percutaneous nephrolithotomy procedures were performed. At presentation 6 children had flank and/or abdominal pain, 5 gross hematuria and 3 urinary tract infection. Three patients had associated metabolic abnormalities. One patient with a staghorn calculus had hydronephrosis and multiple infundibular stenoses. No underlying urological anatomical abnormalities were noted in the remaining cases. Four renal units that were obstructed at presentation required initial nephrostomy tube insertion. Average operative time was 131.8 minutes (range 58 to 240). An 87.5% stone-free rate was achieved using percutaneous nephrolithotomy monotherapy. Percutaneous nephrolithotomy was not successful for eradicating a staghorn stone in 1 patient. Hypothermia developed in 2 patients in whom operative time exceeded 150 minutes. No blood transfusions were required.

CONCLUSIONS: Percutaneous nephrolithotomy is safe and effective in children, and should be considered a viable management option. However, staghorn calculi may require alternative management, particularly in the setting of underlying anatomical abnormalities. Children with renal calculi should undergo a complete anatomical and metabolic assessment with the institution of medical therapy, as appropriate.

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