The evolution of percutaneous nephrolithotomy: Analysis of a single institution experience over 25 years


  • Jennifer Bjazevic Western University
  • Linda Nott Western University
  • Philippe D. Violette McMaster University
  • Thomas Tailly UZ Gent
  • Marie Dion Niagara Health System
  • John D. Denstedt Western University
  • Hassan Razvi Western University



Percutaneous nephrolithotomy, Outcomes, Clavien, Stone free rate, Comorbidities


Introduction: Over time, the incidence of nephrolithiasis has risen significantly, and patient populations have become increasingly complex. Our study aimed to determine the impact of changes in patient demographics on percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL) outcomes.

Methods: A retrospective analysis of a prospectively collected database was carried out from 1990–2015. Patient demographics, comorbidities, stone and procedure characteristics were analyzed. Multivariate logistic regression was used to evaluate differences in operative duration, complications, stone-free rate, and length of stay.

Results: A total of 2486 patients with a mean age of 54±15 years, body mass index (BMI) of 31±8, and stone surface area of 895±602 mm2 were analyzed; 47% of patients had comorbidities, including hypertension (22%), diabetes mellitus (14%), and cardiac disease (13%). Complication rate was 19%, including a 2% rate of major complications (Clavien grade III–V). There was a statistically significant increase in patient age, BMI, and comorbidities over time, which was correlated with an increased complication rate (odds ratio [OR] 1.15; p=0.010). The overall transfusion rate was 1.0% and remained stable (p=0.131). With time, both OR duration (mean D 16 minutes; p<0.001) and hospital length of stay (mean D 2.4 days; p<0.001) decreased significantly. Stone-free rate of 1873 patients with available three-month followup was 87% and decreased significantly over time (OR 1.09; p<0.001), but was correlated with an increased use of computed tomography (CT) scans for followup imaging.

Conclusions: Despite an increasingly complex patient population, PCNL remains a safe and effective procedure with a high stone-free rate and low risk of complications.


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Author Biographies

Jennifer Bjazevic, Western University

Endourology Fellow

Division of Urology

Linda Nott, Western University

Division of Urology

Philippe D. Violette, McMaster University

Adjunct Professor

Division of Urology 

Thomas Tailly, UZ Gent

Division of Urology

John D. Denstedt, Western University

Professor of Urology

Division of Urology

Hassan Razvi, Western University

Professor and Chairman

Division of Urology



How to Cite

Bjazevic, J., Nott, L., Violette, P. D., Tailly, T., Dion, M., Denstedt, J. D., & Razvi, H. (2018). The evolution of percutaneous nephrolithotomy: Analysis of a single institution experience over 25 years. Canadian Urological Association Journal, 13(10), E3`17–24.



Original Research