The dilemma of 12/14F ureteral access sheath (UAS) usage: a case control study

Tomasz Ozimek, Judith R. Wiessmeyer, Julian P. Struck, Marie C. Roesch, Nils Gilbert, Jan M. Laturnus, Axel S. Merseburger, Mario W. Kramer*

*Corresponding author for this work


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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number84
JournalBMC Urology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12.2022

Research Areas and Centers

  • Research Area: Luebeck Integrated Oncology Network (LION)


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