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BJU Int. 2012 Apr;109(7):1082-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-410X.2011.10495.x. Epub 2011 Aug 26.

Trends in urological stone disease.

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Oxford Stone Group, Department of Urology, Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences, The Churchill Hospital, Oxford, UK.



To summarize the changes in prevalence and treatment of upper urinary tract stone disease in the UK over the last 10 years.


Data from the Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) website ( were extracted, summarized and presented.


The number of upper urinary tract stone hospital episodes increased by 63% to 83,050 in the 10-year period. The use of shock wave lithotripsy (SWL) for treating all upper tract stones increased from 14,491 cases in 2000-2001 to 22,402 cases in 2010 (a 55% increase) with a 69% increase in lithotripsy for renal stones. There was a 127% increase in the number of ureteroscopic stone treatments from 6,283 to 14,242 cases over the 10-year period with a 49% increase from 2007/2008 to 2009/2010. There was a decline in open surgery for upper tract stones from 278 cases in 2000/2001 to 47 cases in 2009/2010 (an 83% reduction). Treatment for stone disease has increased substantially in comparison with other urological activity. In 2009/2010, SWL was performed almost as frequently as transurethral resection of the prostate or transurethral resection of bladder tumour, ureteroscopy for stones was performed more frequently than nephrectomy, radical prostatectomy and cystectomy combined, and percutaneous nephrolithotomy was performed more frequently than cystectomy.


The present study highlights the increase in prevalence and treatment of stone disease in the UK over the last 10 years. If this trend continues it has important implications for workforce planning, training, service delivery and research in the field of urolithiasis.

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