Objectives: To determine whether stone location affects the stone-free rates of endoscopic lithotripsy for nephrolithiasis. Methods: From January 2002 to August 2006, 245 patients with 272 stones, ranging from 4 to 20 mm in size, underwent ureteroscopy (URS) with laser lithotripsy at West Virginia University Hospital. The patients were followed up postoperatively with noncontrast spiral computed tomography, abdominal plain radiography, renal ultrasonography, or retrograde pyelography. Patients were considered to have been treated successfully if they had no residual stones. All pediatric patients were excluded, as were all patients with stones greater than 2 cm. Also, patients who had undergone previous shock wave lithotripsy, percutaneous nephrolithotripsy, or URS by an outside urologist were excluded. Results: A total of 86 kidney stones were treated with URS and laser lithotripsy. Of these, 81 (94.2%) were successfully treated. Five patients (5.8%) had persistent stones. All 18 upper pole stones (100%) were cleared, 23 (95.8%) of 24 middle pole stones were cleared, and 40 (90.9%) of 44 lower pole stones were cleared (P = 0.338). Conclusions: URS is an important tool for treating nephroureterolithiasis with excellent success rates and minimal morbidity. The results of our study have shown that stone location does not significantly affect stone clearance rates when performing endoscopic lithotripsy for intrarenal calculi.
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