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Presse Med. 2000 Jan 15;29(1):34-8.

[Renal and hypertensive complications of extracorporeal lithotripsy].

[Article in French]

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Service de N├ęphrologie, Centre Hospitalier Boulogne sur mer, CHU Amiens.


HISTOLOGICAL AND FUNCTIONAL CONSEQUENCES OF ESWL: Extracorporeal shock wave litotripsy is now used for the treatment of about 90% of stones. Because of the nonpunctual delivery of energy into the stone, a small volume of renal parenchyma is injured, giving rise to a fibrous scar which can be visualized by morphological techniques such as magnetic nuclear resonance. Isotopic techniques point out a 15% reduction of renal plasma flow on the side of the litotripsy. For a majority of patients, this alteration is transient.


In a few cases, abrupt onset of transient hypertension has been reported in clear relation with a compressive perirenal hematoma. The causal effect of ESWL on late occurrence of permanent hypertension is however still uncertain, probably because of the difficulty to show that this occurrence is not related to the older age of the patient alone. The FDA sponsored multicentric study begun in 1993 should solve this issue in the future.


Recent articles suggest that altered renal function prior to ESWL would predict late occurrence of hypertension and worsening of renal failure. Furthermore, age and the resistance index of arcuate or interlobular renal arteries (measured by Doppler) could help to screen the patients at risk of developing hypertension. Practical attitude: In practice, renal function and blood pressure should be carefully monitored in patients aged over 60 and/or who have a serum creatinine > 300 mumol/l.

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