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Prog Urol. 2004 Dec;14(6):1140-5.

[Percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL) in subjects over the age of 70: a multicentre retrospective study of 210 cases].

[Article in French]

Author information

Service d'Urologie, Hôpital La Milétrie, Poitiers, France.

Erratum in

  • Prog Urol. 2005 Feb;15(1):V. Amiel, J [added].



Percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL) in subjects over the age of 70 is considered to be associated with a higher risk than extracorporeal shock-wave lithotripsy (ESWL). However this technique is sometimes necessary for very large or complex stones in patients with several comorbidities.


To evaluate the predictive factors of success and operative risks likely to influence the results of PCNL in a population of patients over the age of 70.


Retrospective study of 203 patients (110 males, 97 females) over the age of 70, in whom a total of 210 PCNL were performed over a 12-year period in ten referral centres for the treatment of stones. 68.5% of cases presented a comorbidity and the median ASA score was 2. The median stone dimensions were 24 x 15 mm. There were 67 solitary pelvic stones, 7 infrapelvic ureteric stones, 31 solitary inferior caliceal stones, 40 complex stones and 13 staghorn calculi. A standard one-stage operative technique was performed in 92% of cases; the nephrostomy tract was easily performed by the urologists themselves in 71.8% of cases.


The overall stone-free (SF) rate was 70.8%. The patient's weight and height (p=0.03 and p=0.01), stone dimensions and their solitary nature were significant factors of success (p<0.00001 and p=0.01) with SF rates of 81.1% for pelvic stones and 90.3%for solitary inferior caliceal stones (p<0.003); the SF rate for complete staghorn calculi was only 30.8%. A history of stones (p=0.04) and diabetes (p=0.03) influenced the stone-free rate, but the other comorbidities, body mass index, and age did not influence the stone-free rate. There were two deaths (0.9% and haemostasis nephrectomy was performed in 2 ASA 3 subjects in renal failure. In the other patients, there was no difference between preoperative and postoperative serum creatinine and haemoglobin levels. The ease of nephrostomy, the rapidity of PCNL, the day of removal of the drainage nephrostomy, the mean hospital stay (median stay: 6 days), sterility of postoperative urine and at the 1-month visit were significantly correlated with the SF rate.


PCNL in subjects over the age of 70 years is a safe and reliable technique that achieved a stone-free rate of 70.8% for all types of stones combined. The best results were obtained for solitary stones larger than 20 mm in the renal pelvis or inferior calyx. Apart from diabetes, which remains a risk factor, well controlled comorbidities do not increase the operative risk. PCNL did not affect haemodynamic parameters or renal function.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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