Steep infundibulopelvic angle as a new risk factor for flexible ureteroscope damage and complicated postoperative course

Tomasz Ozimek, Jens Cordes, Judith R. Wiessmeyer, Michael H. Schneider, Marie C. Hupe, Nils Gilbert, Axel S. Merseburger, Mario W. Kramer*

*Corresponding author for this work


Objective: The increasing number of flexible ureterorenoscopy (fURS) procedures, the fragility of devices, and their growing repair costs represent a substantial burden for urological departments worldwide. No risk factors of flexible ureteroscope damage have been identified so far. The objective of this study was to investigate the impact of infundibulopelvic angle (IPA) on device damage and on other intraoperative and postoperative factors such as length of hospital stay, surgical complications, stone-free rate (SFR), operation, and fluoroscopy time. Materials and Methods: In a retrospective monocentric study, IPA was measured based on intraoperative retrograde pyelography images taken during fURS. All procedures were conducted with modern reusable flexible ureteroscopes: Karl Storz Flex-X2 or Olympus URF-V. Statistical analysis was performed in RStudio (version 1.0.136) with the unpaired t-test and Mann-Whitney U test. Pearson correlation coefficient (Pearson's r) was measured whenever applicable. Results: In total, 381 fURS performed between September 2013 and March 2017 were analyzed: 260 (68.24%) for kidney stone operation and 121 (31.76%) for diagnostic purposes; of these, 38 (9.97%) devices were postoperatively deemed defective. IPA values were significantly steeper in cases with flexible ureteroscope damage compared to cases without damage (median 42.5 degrees vs 56.0, p < 0.001). Steeper IPA was significantly associated with the occurrence of Clavien-Dindo ≥2 complications (median 51.0 degrees vs 55.0, p = 0.005) as well as prolonged hospital stay (median 51.0 degrees vs 55.0, p = 0.014). No influence on SFR was observed (p > 0.05). IPA did not correlate with operation or fluoroscopy time. Conclusions: Steep IPA can be considered the first risk factor predicting both flexible ureteroscope damage and an unfavorable postoperative course. A better understanding of damage mechanisms is the key for the proper indications to use costly single-use devices.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Endourology
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)597-602
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 01.07.2018

Research Areas and Centers

  • Research Area: Luebeck Integrated Oncology Network (LION)


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