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Article of the week: Early and rapid prediction of postoperative infections following PCNL in patients with complex kidney stones


Every week, the Editor-in-Chief selects an Article of the Week from the current issue of BJUI. The abstract is reproduced below and you can click on the button to read the full article, which is freely available to all readers for at least 30 days from the time of this post.

In addition to the article itself, there is an editorial  and a visual abstract prepared by prominent members of the urological community. These are intended to provoke comment and discussion and we invite you to use the comment tools at the bottom of each post to join the conversation. 

If you only have time to read one article this week, it should be this one.

Early and rapid prediction of postoperative infections following percutaneous nephrolithotomy in patients with complex kidney stones

Dong Chen*, Chonghe Jiang, Xiongfa Liang*, Fangling Zhong*, Jian Huang*, Yongping Lin, Zhijian Zhao*, Xiaolu Duan*, Guohua Zeng* and Wenqi Wu*


*Department of Urology, Guangdong Key Laboratory of Urology, Minimally Invasive Surgery Center, The First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, Department of Urology, The Peoples Hospital of Qingyuan City, The Sixth Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Qingyuan, and Department of Laboratory Medicine, The First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China


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To obtain more accurate and rapid predictors of postoperative infections following percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL) in patients with complex kidney stones, and provide evidence for early prevention and treatment of postoperative infections.

Patients and Methods

A total of 802 patients with complex kidney stones who underwent PCNL, from September 2016 to September 2017, were recruited. Urine tests, urine cultures (UCs) and stone cultures (SCs) were performed, and the perioperative data were prospectively recorded.


In all, 19 (2.4%) patients developed postoperative urosepsis. A multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that an operating time of ≥100 min, urine test results with both positive urine white blood cells (WBC+) and positive urine nitrite (WBC+NIT+), positive UCs (UC+), and positive SCs (SC+) were independent risk factors of urosepsis. The incidence of postoperative urosepsis was higher in patients with WBC+NIT+ (10%) or patients with both UC+ and SC+ (UC+SC+; 8.3%) than in patients with negative urine test results or negative cultures (P < 0.01). Preoperative WBC+NIT+ was predictive of UC+SC+, with an accuracy of >90%. The main pathogens found in kidney stones were Escherichia coli (44%), Proteus mirabilis (14%) and Staphylococcus (7.4%); whilst the main pathogens found in urine were E. coli (54%), Enterococcus (9.4%) and P. mirabilis (7.6%). The incidence of E. coli was more frequent in the group with urosepsis than in the group without urosepsis (P < 0.05).


WBC+NIT+ in preoperative urine tests could be considered as an early and rapid predictor of UC+SC+ and postoperative urosepsis. Urosepsis following PCNL was strongly associated with E. coli infections in patients with complex kidney stones.


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