Comparison of Management and Outcomes of Symptomatic Urolithiasis During the COVID-19 Pandemic to a Comparative Cohort

Alex Nourian, Curran Uppaluri, Michelle Chen, Eric M. Ghiraldi, Justin I. Friedlander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective: To analyze the clinical presentation and outcomes for patients who presented with symptomatic urolithiasis during the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed Emergency Department (ED) presentations from a Philadelphia healthcare system for symptomatic urolithiasis between March and June 2020 and compared these with presentations for the same time period from the year prior. Patient demographics, stone characteristics, management, and clinical outcomes were compared between the 2 years. Results: One hundred and thirty-nine patients presented during 2020 compared to 269 in 2019. There were fewer patients who presented during the initial COVID-19 pandemic surge who had obesity (37.41% vs 49.44%, P = .024), hyperlipidemia (18.71% vs 31.60, P = .006), and asthma (5.76% vs 16.73%, P = .002). Although overall stone characteristics did not differ between the 2 groups, a larger proportion of patients in 2020 presented with an obstructing stone (81.16% vs 64.1%, P = .001). Patients who presented during the COVID-19 pandemic did not have higher rates of infection, acute kidney injury, or complications. Rates of surgical modalities, emergent procedures, and discharges from the ED were similar between the 2 years. Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic initial surge resulted in fewer ED presentations for symptomatic urolithiasis; however, patients who did present were more likely to have obstructing stones, perhaps due to delaying presentation to avoid COVID-19 exposure in the ED. Despite higher rates of obstruction, clinical outcomes and morbidity were similar.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)178-183
Number of pages6
StatePublished - Jul 2022


  • COVID-19/epidemiology
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Humans
  • Pandemics
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Urolithiasis/epidemiology


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