Purpose: To assess the safety and efficacy of ureteroscopy and holmium:YAG (yttrium-aluminum-garnet) laser lithotripsy in the treatment of upper urinary tract calculi in patients with known and uncorrected bleeding diatheses.
Materials and Methods: A retrospective chart review from 2 tertiary stone centers was performed to identify patients with known bleeding diatheses who were treated with holmium:YAG laser lithotripsy for upper urinary tract calculi. Twenty-five patients with 29 upper urinary tract calculi were treated with ureteroscopic holmium laser lithotripsy. Bleeding diatheses identified were coumadin administration for various conditions (17), liver dysfunction (3), thrombocytopenia (4), and von Willebrand's disease (1). Mean international normalized ratio (INR), platelet count and bleeding time were 2.3, 50 x 109/L, and > 16 minutes, for patients receiving coumadin or with liver dysfunction, thrombocytopenia, or von Willebrand's disease, respectively.
Results: Overall, the stone-free rate was 96% (27/28) and 29 of 30 procedures were completed successfully without significant complication. One patient who was treated concomitantly with electrohydraulic lithotripsy (EHL) had a significant retroperitoneal hemorrhage that required blood transfusion.
Conclusions: Treatment of upper tract urinary calculi in patients with uncorrected bleeding diatheses can be safely performed using contemporary small caliber ureteroscopes and holmium laser as the sole modality of lithotripsy. Ureteroscopic holmium laser lithotripsy without preoperative correction of hemostatic parameters limits the risk of thromboembolic complications and costs associated with an extended hospital stay. Avoidance of the use of EHL is crucial in reducing bleeding complications in this cohort of patients.
Objectives: Symptomatic urolithiasis in pregnancy that does not respond to conservative measures has traditionally been managed with ureteral stent insertion or percutaneous nephrostomy (PCN). Holmium:yttrium-aluminum-garnet (YAG) laser lithotripsy using state-of-the-art ureteroscopes represents an emerging strategy for definitive stone management in pregnancy. The purpose of this study was to review the results of holmium laser lithotripsy in a cohort of patients who presented with symptomatic urolithiasis in pregnancy.
Methods: A retrospective analysis was conducted at 2 tertiary stone centers from January 1996 to August 2001 to identify pregnant patients who were treated with ureteroscopic holmium laser lithotripsy for symptomatic urolithiasis or encrusted stents. Eight patients with a total of 10 symptomatic ureteral calculi and 2 encrusted ureteral stents were treated. Mean gestational age at presentation was 22 weeks. Mean stone size was 8.1 mm. Stones were located in the proximal ureter/ureteropelvic junction (UPJ) (3), mid ureter (1), and distal ureter (6).
Results: Complete stone fragmentation and/or removal of encrusted ureteral stents were achieved in all patients using the holmium:YAG laser. The overall procedural success rate was 91%. The overall stone-free rate was 89%. No obstetrical or urological complications were encountered.
Conclusions: Ureteroscopy and holmium laser lithotripsy can be performed safely in all stages of pregnancy providing definitive management of symptomatic ureteral calculi. The procedure can be done with minimal or no fluoroscopy and avoids the undesirable features of stents or nephrostomy tubes.