BMC Urol. 2022 Jun 15;22(1):84. doi: 10.1186/s12894-022-01031-6.
BACKGROUND: The insertion of a ureteral access sheath (UAS) is a frequent procedure during flexible ureteroscopy (fURS) to facilitate kidney stone treatment. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of 12/14 French (F) UAS on fURS outcomes.
METHODS: We performed a retrospective monocentric analysis of fURS procedures conducted at the Department of Urology (University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Lübeck, Germany) for kidney stone treatment via lithotripsy or basket stone retrieval between September 2013 and June 2017. Uni- and multivariate analyses were done with the help of RStudio (Version 1.0.136) software.
RESULTS: In total, 283 consecutive fURS were analyzed. UAS was applied in 98 cases (34.63%). The insertion of UAS was preferred in cases with multiple kidney stones and larger median maximal stone diameter (p < 0.05). UAS usage correlated with elevated radiation exposure in seconds (94 vs. 61; p < 0.0001), prolonged operation time in minutes (99 vs. 66, p < 0.0001), length of hospital stay over 48 h (LOS, 22.49% vs. 10.81%; p = 0.015), more frequent postoperative systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS, 13.27% vs. 4.32%; p = 0.013) and lower postoperative stone-free rates (60.20% vs. 78.92%; p = 0.0013). Moreover, we conducted uni- and multivariate subgroup analysis for cases with multiple kidney stones (≥ 2) and comparable stone burden; UAS was inserted in 48.3% of these cases (71/147). On multivariate logistic regression, UAS insertion was statistically associated with prolonged operation time in minutes (101 vs. 77; p = 0.004). No statistical differences regarding radiation exposure, stone-free rates, postoperative SIRS rates or LOS were noted between UAS and non-UAS patients with multiple kidney stones of similar size (p > 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: 12/14F UAS does not seem to improve overall outcomes in fURS for kidney stones. In patients with multiple kidney stones it may be associated with elevated operation time without a clear benefit in terms of improved stone-free status or reduced perioperative complication rate. Further prospective randomized studies to specify the indications for UAS usage are urgently needed.