Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy Success in the Transplant Kidney

Amy E. Krambeck, Andrew J. LeRoy, David E. Patterson, Matthew T. Gettman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Scopus citations


Purpose: Treatment for symptomatic calculi in the transplanted kidney can be problematic. Percutaneous nephrolithotomy has routinely been used but concerns exist about potential injury to adjacent organs using a percutaneous access technique. We report our experience with percutaneous nephrolithotomy in the transplant kidney. Materials and Methods: A retrospective chart review from 1988 to the present was performed of all cases of a renal transplant and subsequent renal calculi treated with percutaneous nephrolithotomy. Results: We identified 13 patients with a renal transplant who underwent percutaneous nephrolithotomy. Presenting symptoms included renal failure in 46.1% of cases, hematuria in 23.1%, urinary tract infection/pyelonephritis in 23.1%, pain in 15.4%, fever in 7.7% and hydronephrosis in 7.7%. Average calculus size was 1.36 cm (range 0.2 to partial staghorn). A single access tract was used in 12 cases and 2 access tracts were used in 1. Ultrasonic lithotripsy was performed in 10 cases, basket extraction was performed in 3 and the 2 techniques were performed in 1. No intraoperative complications occurred. Nephrostogram 24 hours after the procedure demonstrated no residual fragments in 10 patients (76.9%). Repeat endoscopy was required in 3 patients to achieve subsequent stone-free status. Postoperative complications developed in 3 patients, including sepsis, gastrointestinal bleeding and herpes esophagitis, respectively. Mean followup was 5.3 years (range 0.6 to 9). The single stone recurrence was treated with shock wave lithotripsy. Mean creatinine was stable at 2.0 mg/dl (range 0.9 to 3.9) preoperatively to 1.7 mg/dl (range 0.9 to 2.6) at the last visit (p = 0.311). Conclusions: Percutaneous nephrolithotomy is safe and effective in the transplanted kidney. Minimal postoperative complications were noted and stone-free status was achieved in all cases. At long-term followup there were few stone recurrences with stable graft function after the procedure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2545-2549
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • kidney calculi
  • kidney transplantation
  • nephrostomy
  • percutaneous
  • postoperative complications
  • renal insufficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

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