Prospective randomized comparison of a combined ultrasonic and pneumatic lithotrite with a standard ultrasonic lithotrite for percutaneous nephrolithotomy.

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PURPOSE: To compare the efficiency and cost effectiveness of a combined pneumatic and ultrasonic lithotrite (Lithoclast Ultra) and a standard ultrasonic lithotrite, (LUS-1) during percutaneous nephrolithotomy.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: In a prospective randomized trial, 30 patients undergoing percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL) were randomized to PCNL with either the combined pneumatic and ultrasonic lithotrite (PUL) or a standard ultrasonic lithotrite (SUL). Patient demographics, stone composition, location, pre- and post-operative stone burden, fragmentation rates, and device failures were compared.

RESULTS: There were 13 patients in the PUL group and 17 patients in the SUL group. Stone burden and location were equal. Overall, 64% of the PUL group had hard stones (defined as stones that were either pure or a mixture of cystine [3], calcium oxalate monohydrate [CaOxMono; 2], and calcium phosphate [CaPO4; 2]), and four had soft stones (3 struvite and 1 uric acid [UA]). In the SUL group, there were eight hard stones (5 CaOxMono and 3 CaPO4), and six soft stones (4 calcium oxalate dihydrate [CaOxDi] and 2 UA) (P = 0.51). Stone composition data were unavailable for five patients. Fragmentation time for the PAL was 37 minutes versus 31.5 minutes for the SUL (P = 0.22). Stone retrieval and mean operative times were similar for both groups. There were a total of three (23.1%) device-related problems in the PUL group, and eight (47%) in the SUL group. There was one (7.7%) device malfunction in the PUL group due to probe fracture. There were two (11.7%) device failures in the SUL group; one failure required the device to be reset every 30 minutes, and the second was an electrical failure. Suction tubing obstruction occurred twice (15.3%) in the PUL group and 35.3% in the SU group (P = 0.35). The stone-free rates for the PUL and SUL were 46% and 66.7%, respectively (P = 0.26).

CONCLUSION: Although the PUL was more costly, stone ablation and clearance rates were similar for both the combined pneumatic and ultrasonic device and the standard ultrasonic device. When stratified with respect to stone composition, the PUL was more efficient for harder stones, and the SUL was more efficient for softer stones.





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Medicine and Health Sciences




Department of Medicine

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