Intraoperative and postoperative feasibility and safety of total tubeless, tubeless, small-bore tube, and standard percutaneous nephrolithotomy: A systematic review and network meta-analysis of 16 randomized controlled trials

Joo Yong Lee, Seong Uk Jeh, Man Deuk Kim, Dong Hyuk Kang, Jong Kyou Kwon, Won Sik Ham, Young Deuk Choi, Kang Su Cho

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL) is performed to treat relatively large renal stones. Recent publications indicate that tubeless and total tubeless (stentless) PCNL is safe in selected patients. We performed a systematic review and network meta-analysis to evaluate the feasibility and safety of different PCNL procedures, including total tubeless, tubeless with stent, small-bore tube, and large-bore tube PCNLs. Methods: PubMed, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and EMBASE™ databases were searched to identify randomized controlled trials published before December 30, 2013. One researcher examined all titles and abstracts found by the searches. Two investigators independently evaluated the full-text articles to determine whether those met the inclusion criteria. Qualities of included studies were rated with Cochrane's risk-of-bias assessment tool. Results: Sixteen studies were included in the final syntheses including pairwise and network meta-analyses. Operation time, pain scores, and transfusion rates were not significantly different between PCNL procedures. Network meta-analyses demonstrated that for hemoglobin changes, total tubeless PCNL may be superior to standard PCNL (mean difference [MD] 0.65, 95% CI 0.14-1.13) and tubeless PCNLs with stent (MD -1.14, 95% CI -1.65 - 0.62), and small-bore PCNL may be superior to tubeless PCNL with stent (MD 1.30, 95% CI 0.27-2.26). Network meta-analyses also showed that for length of hospital stay, total tubeless (MD 1.33, 95% CI 0.23-2.43) and tubeless PCNLs with stent (MD 0.99, 95% CI 0.19-1.79) may be superior to standard PCNL. In rank probability tests, small-bore tube and total tubeless PCNLs were superior for operation time, pain scores, and hemoglobin changes. Conclusions: For hemoglobin changes, total tubeless and small-bore PCNLs may be superior to other methods. For hospital stay, total tubeless and tubeless PCNLs with stent may be superior to other procedures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number48
JournalBMC Urology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jun 27


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Urology

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