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J Urol. 2002 Jul;168(1):43-5.

Ureteroscopic treatment of lower pole calculi: comparison of lithotripsy in situ and after displacement.

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Department of Urology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.



Ureteroscopic management is a viable option for lower pole calculi less than 2 cm. Recently a technique was described to displace the calculus into a more accessible calix using a nitinol basket or grasper before lithotripsy. We compared the efficacy and safety of this technique with in situ treatment of small and intermediate lower pole calculi.


We retrospectively reviewed the records of 95 ureteroscopy cases performed at our institution from January 1997 through August 2001 for renal calculi located only in the lower pole. Preoperative patient characteristics, stone size, operative details, complications and outcomes were compared for calculi treated in situ and those displaced before treatment.


Adequate followup was available on 78 patients. Patients in the displacement group were statistically older, more often had a preoperative indwelling ureteral stent and had a mean operative time that was 16 minutes longer (p = 0.04). Average stone diameter in the in situ and displacement groups was 8 and 10.3 mm., respectively (p = 0.04). In patients with radiographic followup greater than 1 month complete success was obtained for 77% of stones 1 cm. or less treated in situ versus 89% treated with displacement first (p = 0.43). For calculi greater than 1 cm. complete success was obtained for 2 of the 7 (29%) treated in situ versus all 7 (100%) treated with displacement (p = 0.005).


When treating lower pole calculi 1 to 2 cm. via ureteroscopy, a higher success rate can be obtained with displacement into a more accessible calix before treatment.

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