Treatment of Renal Stones in Children: A Comparison Between Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy and Shock Wave Lithotripsy

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We compared the results of percutaneous nephrolithotomy and shock wave lithotripsy for the treatment of 1 to 2 cm renal stones in children.

Materials and Methods

The study included 166 children with renal stones 1 to 2 cm. A total of 75 patients (82 kidneys) were treated with percutaneous nephrolithotomy and 91 (93 kidneys) were treated with shock wave lithotripsy. Mean followup was 31 ± 10 months (range 6 to 84). Both groups were compared regarding stone-free rate, re-treatment rate, complications and incidence of stone recurrence.


Both groups were comparable regarding preoperative characteristics. Of the units treated with percutaneous nephrolithotomy 4 (4.9%) were associated with minor complications. Stone-free rate after a single session of percutaneous nephrolithotomy was 86.6% (71 units), and the remaining 11 kidneys with residual stones were successfully treated with repeat percutaneous nephrolithotomy in 7 and shock wave lithotripsy in 4. Therefore, a total of 78 units (95%) were stone-free after percutaneous nephrolithotomy monotherapy, and the overall stone-free rate at 3 months was 100%. Of the patients undergoing shock wave lithotripsy 1 (1.1%) had development of steinstrasse and was successfully treated with ureteroscopy. The overall re-treatment rate after shock wave lithotripsy was 55%. A total of 79 units (84.9%) were stone-free after shock wave lithotripsy monotherapy, whereas 7 (7.5%) with no gross response to treatment were treated with percutaneous nephrolithotomy and 7 with insignificant stones less than 4 mm were followed. Therefore, the overall stone-free rate at 3 months was 92.5%. The differences in stone-free rates and re-treatment rates significantly favored percutaneous nephrolithotomy, while the incidence of complications and stone recurrence at last followup were not significantly different between the groups.


For treatment of 1 to 2 cm renal stones in children percutaneous nephrolithotomy is better than shock wave lithotripsy, yielding higher stone-free and lower re-treatment rates.

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