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Urology. 2006 Apr;67(4):683-7. Epub 2006 Mar 29.

Ureteroscopic laser papillotomy to treat papillary calcifications associated with chronic flank pain.

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Department of Urology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-0330, USA.



To evaluate retrospectively the efficacy and durability of a novel approach using ureteroscopic laser papillotomy for the treatment of painful papillary calcifications. Chronic pain due to renal papillary calcifications has not been addressed by current techniques.


Ureteroscopic holmium laser lithotripsy and papillotomy were performed on patients with chronic pain and radiographically visible papillary calcifications without free collecting system calculi. The papillary urothelium overlying all cystic dilations and intraductal calcifications was vaporized. Treated patients answered a telephone survey to assess pain scores, duration of response, use of narcotics, and patient satisfaction. We reviewed the medical records to evaluate for procedure-related complications and serum creatinine measurements.


Of 20 patients who underwent laser papillotomy and responded to the telephone survey, 7 had bilateral procedures, yielding 27 renal units available for analysis. "Much less pain" was reported after 85% of the procedures, with a durable improvement reported after 59% of the procedures, at a median follow-up of 14.5 months. Significant improvements in the median pain scores were seen at 1 month (1.0, P <0.001), 6 months (2.0, P <0.001), and 1 year (1.5, P <0.001) compared with a median preoperative pain score of 9.0. The mean serum creatinine was unchanged after the procedure.


Ureteroscopic laser papillotomy appears to be an effective treatment option for the chronic pain associated with papillary calcifications. Laser papillotomy offers hope to patients who would otherwise have been denied an attempt at treatment because of a lack of free calculi within the collecting system.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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