Miniaturized percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL) has gained increased popularity owing to efforts in recent years to lower peri-operative morbidity while maintaining a high stone-free rate (SFR).

The outcomes of pediatric renal stones treated by mini-PCNL (MPCNL) versus standard PCNL (SPCNL) were retrospectively assessed.

A retrospective data analysis of 134 consecutive patients younger than 17 years who underwent PCNL between January 2014 and July 2018 was performed. The patients were categorized into two treatment groups depending on the tract size and instruments used. Seventy-five patients were treated by SPCNL using adult instruments via a 22-26 Fr tract, and 59 patients were treated by MPCNL using pediatric instruments via a 16-20 Fr tract.

A total of 134 children (SPCNL = 75; MPCNL = 59) underwent PCNL and subsequent evaluation. Patient demographics and stone characteristics were comparable between the two groups. The mean stone size ranged from 1.9 ± 1.162 cm in the MPCNL group to 2.2 ± 1.424 cm in the SPCNL group, and the overall SFR was 89.5% in the MPCNL group and 94.7% in the SPCNL group. When comparing the common characteristics, no significant difference was found between the two surgical access regarding the mean operative duration, SFR, incidence of peri-operative complications, and the rate of bleeding requiring a blood transfusion. Conversely, the mean postoperative hemoglobin decrease was significantly lower in the MPCNL group relative to the SPCNL group, at 0.354 ± 0.299 g versus 0.568 ± 0.332 g, respectively (P = 0.001). In addition, the mean duration of hospitalization was significantly lower in the MPCNL group than in the SPCNL group, at 1.91 ± 1.154 days compared with 2.41 ± 1.14 days, respectively (P = 0.014).

Herein, the authors report the first systematic review of the first center in the locality treating this cross section of patients. This review reveals that the use of these smaller instruments can deliver a strong safety profile while achieving good stone clearance. As an alternative to decreasing the peri-operative morbidity associated with SPCNL, MPCNL can be conveniently used without affecting the outcomes of the procedure. It is a safe and feasible procedure for maximal clearance of stones and should comprise the treatment of choice-regardless of age-for experienced endourologists.

MPCNL represents a valuable way of treating simple and complex renal stones in children, with an operative time, SFR, and overall complication rate comparable with those of SPCNL. Mini-PCNL resulted in shorter hospitalization and fewer hemoglobin drops.

Journal of pediatric urology. 2019 Sep 16 [Epub ahead of print]

Sarwar Noori Mahmood, Bryar Othman Aziz, Hewa Mahmood Tawfeeq, Saman Salih Fakhralddin

University of Sulaymania, College of Medicine, Department of Surgery, Sulaymania 46001, Iraq. Electronic address: ., Sulaymania General Teaching Hospital, Urology Department, Sulaymania 46001, Iraq.