Introduction: Percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL) can involve establishing more than one access into the urinary collecting system. The present study examined whether multiple percutaneous accesses results in a more severe reduction in renal function than that after single-percutaneous access. Methods: Adult female pigs were anesthetized, and percutaneous access to the left urinary collecting system was achieved by puncturing the lower pole calyx (single-tract access, n = 16) or serially puncturing the lower pole, interpolar region, and upper pole calyces [multiple (three)-tract access, n = 11]. Renal function measurements included glomerular filtration rate and effective renal plasma flow, and were taken immediately before and 1.5 and 4.5 hours after percutaneous access. We also examined glomerular function in a group of adult patients with normal preoperative serum creatinine (Cr) levels (≤1.4 mg/dL) who underwent either unilateral single-tract PCNL (23 patients) or unilateral multiple (two)-tract PCNL (10 patients). Access tracts were dilated to 30F with a NephroMax balloon dilator system in animal and human patients. Results: Single- and multiple-tract percutaneous access procedures in pigs resulted in a similar renal functional response; both glomerular filtration rate and effective renal plasma flow significantly declined by ∼60% immediately after access and remained depressed throughout the experimental observation period. A retrospective analysis of patients with normal serum Crs (≤1.4 mg/dL) who underwent single- or multiple-tract PCNL demonstrated that the procedures produced similar and significant increases in serum Cr on postoperative day 1 (0.33 ± 0.09 [standard error of mean] mg/dL and 0.39 ± 0.11 mg/dL, respectively) and day 2 (0.33 ± 0.09 mg/dL and 0.25 ± 0.09 mg/dL, respectively). Conclusions: Multiple-tract access does not lead to a more severe reduction in renal function than single-tract access; that is, the acute renal hemodynamic response to PCNL appears independent of the number of access tracts.
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