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| Percutaneous nephrolithotomy has become the preferred treatment modality for patients with large renal calculi. The technique provides excellent stone clearance, but complication rates are higher than those of minimally invasive techniques, such as ureteroscopy and shockwave lithotripsy. Guy’s stone score, S.T.O.N.E. nephrolithometry, the CROES nomogram, and S-ReSC are contemporary scoring systems introduced to provide standardized grading of stone complexity and outcomes of percutaneous stone surgery. Guy’s stone score is easy to apply and has been validated in multiple studies. The S.T.O.N.E. score is based on factors determined through CT imaging, which is the currently preferred imaging modality for patients with nephrolithiasis. The CROES nomogram was developed from data in a large multicentre database and has high statistical power. Determination of the S-ReSC score relies on stone location only, providing a simple approach to grading disease complexity. Each system has advantages and disadvantages, but several studies suggest that their ability to predict stone-free rate is comparable. The optimal system should have a high predictive ability, should be simple to use and should be widely applicable. Additional studies are required to evaluate patient clinical factors that influence stone complexity and are predictive of outcomes. A future unified scoring system might incorporate the strengths of each currently available system and optimize care of patients with nephrolithiasis.