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Endourologic management of urinary fistulae.

Techniques in Urology 2000 September
PURPOSE: Historically, aggressive surgical exploration of renal fistulae has been associated with a 20% nephrectomy rate. We evaluated the role of minimally invasive techniques in the management of urinary fistulae.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A retrospective review identified 10 renal fistulae in nine patients. Six renal-cutaneous, two renal-colonic, and two renal-pleural fistulae were referred for evaluation and treatment.

RESULTS: Five men and four women (mean age 54 years, range 32-76) were referred to the University of California, San Francisco Urinary Stone Center from 1988 to 1996. Of the six renal-cutaneous fistulae, four were spontaneous and two were iatrogenic. The iatrogenic fistulae occurred after an open pyelolithotomy (1) and a renal exploration performed after extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (1). The spontaneous fistulae resulted from obstructing calyceal calculi (2), infundibular stenosis (1), and obstructed nephrostomy tube (1). The two renal-colonic fistulae resulted from percutaneous nephrolithotomies, and the two renal-pleural fistulae developed after renal surgery. Eight of 10 fistulae resolved with minimally invasive endoscopic techniques and relief of urinary obstruction. One nephrectomy was performed for a small nonfunctioning kidney after failed open pyelolithotomy. One patient refused all treatment and the fistula resolved spontaneously.

CONCLUSIONS: Conservative management of both spontaneous and iatrogenic renal fistulae is possible by relieving urinary obstruction and using minimally invasive endoscopic techniques. Low nephrectomy rates can be expected using these methods.

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