Percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PNL) for staghorn kidney stones provides satisfactory long-term functional results, researchers concluded.

In a study of 122 patients (mean age 47.6 years; range 5-74 years) who underwent 126 PNL procedures and had at least one year of follow-up, Ahmed R. El-Nahas, MD, of Mansoura Urology and Nephrology Center in Mansoura, Egypt, showed that 91.5% of kidneys showed stable or improved glomerular filtration rate (GFR) after a mean follow-up of 3.5 years, according to an online report in BJU International.

Perioperative complications occurred in 28 procedures (22%). Among 71 stone-free kidneys, 18 (25%) developed stone recurrence. Pre- and post-operative renograms were obtained for 71 patients. At the last follow-up, differential GFR was stable in 53 (74.5%), improved in 12 (17%), and deteriorated in six (8.5%). Among patients with deteriorated kidney function, three had undergone embolization to control severe bleeding, one had secondary ureteropelvic junction obstruction, and one had recurrent stone obstructing the kidney.

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Of 55 kidneys with residuals at the start of follow-up, 36 (65%) demonstrated growth of these residuals, the authors reported.

The authors concluded that long-term follow-up of patients who undergo PNL for staghorn stones is mandatory, especially for those with residual stones.