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SYMPOSIUM
Year : 2008  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 517-520

Extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy for lower pole calculi smaller than one centimeter


Department of Urology, Klinikum Harlaching, Staedtisches Klinikum, Muenchen GmbH, Germany

Correspondence Address:
Christian Chaussy
Department of Urology, Klinikum Harlaching Staedtisches Klinikum Muenchen GmbH, Sanatoriumsplatz 2, D-81545 Muenchen
Germany
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0970-1591.44260

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Extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy (ESWL) has revolutionized the treatment of urinary calculi and became the accepted standard therapy for the majority of stone patients. Only for stones located in the lower calix, ESWL displayed a limited efficacy. Since the stone-free rate seemed to be preferential, endoscopic maneuvers like percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL) and retrograde intrarenal surgery (RIRS) have been proposed as the primary approach for this stone localization. Stone size seems to be the most important parameter in regard to the stone-free rate, whereas anatomical characteristics of the lower pole collecting system are discussed controversial. Various studies show a good stone clearance between 70-84% for stones up to 1 cm in diameter. Additional physical and medical measures are suitable to improve treatment results. Stone remnants after ESWL, defined as clinical insignificant residual fragments (CIRF) will not cause problems in every case and will pass until up to 24 months after treatment; in total 80-90% of all patients will become stone-free or at least symptom-free. When complete stone-free status is the primary goal , follow-up examinations with new radiological technologies like spiral CT show that the stone-free rate of ESWL and endoscopically treated patients (RIRS) does not differ significantly. However, in comparison to endoscopic stone removal, shockwave therapy is noninvasive, anesthesia-free and can be performed in an outpatient setup. Therefore, ESWL remains the first choice option for the treatment of lower caliceal stones up to 1 cm. The patient will definitely favour this procedure.


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