We determine whether there is a significant relationship between the spatial anatomy of the lower pole, as seen on preoperative excretory urography (IVP), and the outcome after shock wave lithotripsy or ureteroscopy for a solitary lower pole caliceal stone 15 mm. or less.Materials and Methods
Between January 1992 and June 1996, 34 patients with 15 mm. or less solitary lower pole stone underwent ureteroscopy with intracorporeal lithotripsy  or extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL [dagger]) with a Dornier HM3 lithotriptor [dagger] . On pretreatment IVP lower pole infundibular length and width, infundibulopelvic angle of the stone bearing calix were measured. Stone size and area were determined from an abdominal plain x-ray. A plain x-ray of the kidneys, ureters and bladder was obtained in all patients at a median followup of 12.3 and 8 months in the ureteroscopy and ESWL groups, respectively.Results
After initial therapy the overall stone-free rate was 62 and 52% in the ureteroscopy and ESWL groups, respectively. Stone-free status after ESWL was significantly related to each anatomical measurement. Infundibulopelvic angle 90 degrees or greater, and infundibular length less than 3 cm. and width greater than 5 mm. were each noted to correlate with an improved stone-free rate after ESWL. In contrast, the stone-free rate after ureteroscopy was not statistically significantly impacted by these anatomical features, although a clinical stone-free trend was identified relating to a favorable infundibular length and infundibulopelvic angle. The infundibulopelvic angle was 90 degrees or greater in 4 stone-free patients (12% overall), including 2 who underwent ureteroscopy and 2 who underwent ESWL. On the other hand, in 2 and 4 stone-free patients (18% overall) who underwent ureteroscopy and ESWL, respectively, favorable radiographic features consisted of a short, wide but acutely angulated infundibulum with the infundibulopelvic angle less than 90 degrees, and infundibular length less than 3 cm. and width 5 mm. or greater. In contrast, in 4 and 6 patients (29% overall) who underwent ureteroscopy and ESWL, respectively, all 3 radiographic features were unfavorable with the infundibulopelvic angle less than 90 degrees, and infundibular length greater than 3 cm. and width less than 5 mm. In these cases the stone-free rate was 50 and 17% after ureteroscopy and ESWL, respectively.Conclusions
The 3 major radiographic features of the lower pole calix (infundibulopelvic angle, and infundibular length and width) can be easily measured on standard IVP using a ruler and protractor. Each factor individually has a statistically significant influence on stone clearance after ESWL. A wide infundibulopelvic angle or short infundibular length and broad infundibular width regardless of infundibulopelvic angle are significant favorable factors for stone clearance following ESWL. Conversely, these factors have a cumulatively negative effect on the stone clearance rate after ESWL when they are all unfavorable. In ureteroscopy spatial anatomy has less of a role in regard to stone clearance but it may have a negative impact when there is uniformly unfavorable anatomy.