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J Endourol. 2011 Jan;25(1):11-7. doi: 10.1089/end.2010.0424.

The Clinical Research Office of the Endourological Society Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy Global Study: indications, complications, and outcomes in 5803 patients.

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  • 1Department of Urology, AMC University Hospital, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. j.j.delarosette@amc.uva.nl



To assess the current indications, perioperative morbidity, and stone-free outcomes for percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL) worldwide.


The Clinical Research Office of the Endourological Society (CROES) collected prospective data for consecutive patients who were treated with PCNL at centers around the world for 1 year. PCNL was performed according to study protocol and local clinical practice guidelines. Stone load and location were recorded, and postoperative complications were graded according to the modified Clavien grading system.


Between November 2007 and December 2009, 5803 patients were treated at 96 centers in Europe, Asia, North America, South America, and Australia. Staghorn calculus was present in 1466 (27.5%) patients, and 940, 956, and 2603 patients had stones in the upper, interpolar, and lower pole calices, respectively. The majority of procedures (85.5%) were uneventful. Major procedure-related complications included significant bleeding (7.8%), renal pelvis perforation (3.4%), and hydrothorax (1.8%). Blood transfusion was administered in 328 (5.7%) patients, and fever >38.5°C occurred in 10.5% of patients. The distribution of scores in modified Clavien grades was: No complication (79.5%), I (11.1%), II (5.3%), IIIa (2.3%), IIIb (1.3%), IVa (0.3%), IVb (0.2%), or V (0.03%). At follow-up. the 30-day stone-free rate was 75.7%, and 84.5% of patients did not need additional treatment.


With a high success rate and a low major complication rate, PCNL is an effective and safe technique overall for minimally invasive removal of kidney stones.

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