Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy Access: A Meta-Analysis Comparing Access by Urologist vs Radiologist

Joshua Ghoulian, Alex Nourian, Zafardjan Dalimov, Eric M. Ghiraldi, Justin I. Friedlander

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Introduction: Percutaneous nephrolithotomy is a minimally invasive procedure indicated for the management of staghorn calculi or renal calculi >2.0 cm. Percutaneous renal access is a critical step in this procedure and can be performed by either urologists or interventional radiologists. The purpose of this study is to perform a meta-analysis to compare outcomes between urologist and interventional radiologist-mediated access. Methods: An electronic literature search was conducted to identify studies comparing urologist- and interventional radiologist-acquired access. Studies must have included both urologist- and intervention radiologist-acquired access data but were excluded if (1) not in English; (2) abstract without full text; (3) unable to determine who acquired access; and (4) only included either urologist or interventional radiologist data. Meta-analysis comparison was generated with the Review Manager 5.4 software. Results: After screening the abstracts and title, 55 relevant studies were identified. Nine articles were utilized in the meta-analysis. Urologist-acquired access was associated with a greater stone-free rate (risk ratio [RR] = 1.10; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.01-1.20), a reduction in major complications (RR = 0.69; 95% CI, 0.53-0.92), and a shorter hospital stay (mean difference -0.40; 95% CI, -0.64 to -0.16) in comparison with radiologist-acquired access. Urologist-acquired access was associated with greater blood loss (mean difference 0.46; 95% CI, 0.32-0.60) when compared with interventional radiology-acquired access. No significant differences were found with regard to unusable access, multiple tracts, supracostal access, ancillary procedure requirement, operative time, minor complications, and transfusions. Conclusions: Urologist-acquired access may be associated with a higher stone-free rate and a reduction in major complications, whereas interventional radiologist-mediated access may be associated with a reduction in blood loss, despite similar transfusion rates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-14
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Endourology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023


  • access
  • interventional radiology
  • kidney stone
  • nephrolithiasis
  • percutaneous nephrolithotomy
  • urology


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