Laparoscopic Pyelolithotomy Compared to Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy as Surgical Management for Large Renal Pelvic Calculi: A Meta-Analysis

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We assessed the effectiveness and safety of laparoscopic pyelolithotomy and percutaneous nephrolithotomy as surgical management for solitary renal pelvic calculi larger than 2 cm.

Materials and Methods:

We searched PubMed®, EMBASE®, The Cochrane Library and the Web of KnowledgeSM databases up to November 9, 2012 for relevant published studies. After data extraction and quality assessment, meta-analysis was performed using RevMan 5.1.


We identified 7 trials in a total of 176 and 187 patients treated with laparoscopic pyelolithotomy and percutaneous nephrolithotomy, respectively. Operative time and hospital stay were 50.62 minutes and 0.66 days shorter in the nephrolithotomy group (p <0.0001 and 0.04, respectively). Patients in the laparoscopic group benefited from a lesser decrease in hemoglobin (OR −1.00, 95% CI –1.77–−0.23), less postoperative fever (OR 0.24, 95% CI 0.08–0.72), a lower incidence of bleeding (OR 0.29, 95% CI 0.10–0.85) and a higher stone-free rate (OR 4.85, 95% CI 1.59–14.82). Sensitivity analysis indicated that all results were stable except the stone-free rate showed no statistically significant difference between the 2 groups (OR 0.33, 95% CI 0.09–1.17). No publication bias was detected.


Current evidence suggests that laparoscopic pyelolithotomy and percutaneous nephrolithotomy are effective and safe for large renal pelvic calculi but laparoscopic pyelolithotomy seems to be more advantageous. However, given the inherent limitations of the included studies, results must be further confirmed in high quality randomized, controlled trials.

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