This study was conducted to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the supracostal approach for percutaneous nephrolithotomy in pediatric patients.
We retrospectively reviewed 60 percutaneous nephrolithotomy procedures done in 50 children (32 boys and 18 girls) between 2000 and 2007. Mean patient age was 7 +/- 4 years (range 9 months to 14 years). Noncontrast computerized tomography was the primary radiological investigation for most of the cases. The subcostal approach was used in 40 procedures, and the supracostal approach (above the 12th rib) was required in 20. We compared both approaches regarding preoperative characteristics, stone-free and complication rates, and the need for auxiliary procedures.
The preoperative characteristics of the patients, urinary tracts and stones were comparable for both treatment groups. There were no major complications. Significant bleeding requiring blood transfusion was observed in 3 patients (5%), transient fever in 3 (5%) and urinary leakage through the nephrostomy site in 3 (5%). The distribution of complications among subcostal and supracostal approaches was comparable. Of the 60 renal units 46 (77%) were stone-free after percutaneous nephrolithotomy at discharge from the hospital. Of the remaining 14 units 9 (15%) were stone-free after shock wave lithotripsy and 5 (8%) had insignificant residual stones. Therefore, the overall stone-free rate at 3 months was 92.5%. Comparing the subcostal and supracostal approaches, there were no significant differences between hospital stays, complication rates, unplanned auxiliary procedures, and stone-free rates at discharge home and at 3-month followup.
Percutaneous nephrolithotomy for treating renal stones in children provides a high degree of safety and efficacy whether a supracostal or subcostal approach is used.