Urology Annals
About UA | Search | Ahead of print | Current Issue | Archives | Instructions | Online submissionLogin 
Urology Annals
  Editorial Board | Subscribe | Advertise | Contact
Users Online: 409   Home Print this page  Email this page Small font size Default font size Increase font size

Table of Contents
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 29-33  

Management of nephrolithiasis in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease - A single center experience

Department of Urology, Muljibhai Patel Urological Hospital, Nadiad, Gujarat, India

Date of Submission10-Feb-2011
Date of Acceptance21-Apr-2011
Date of Web Publication10-Jan-2012

Correspondence Address:
Mahesh R Desai
Medical Director, Department of Urology, Muljibhai Patel Urological Hospital, Dr. V.V. Desai Road, Nadiad - 387 001, Gujarat
Login to access the Email id

DOI: 10.4103/0974-7796.91618

Rights and Permissions

Purpose: To evaluate available options for the management of nephrolithiasis in patients with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD).
Materials and Methods: Case files of all the patients with ADPKD treated in our hospital in the last 18 years were evaluated. Their demographic details, clinical presentations, investigations, treatments, and outcomes were critically analyzed.
Results: There were a total of 19 patients (23 renal units) with nephrolithiasis among 452 consecutive cases of ADPKD. Male-to-female ratio was 3.75:1. The mean age of the patients was 43.3 years (range 23 to 60 years). The most common presentations were pain and hematuria (27.7% each). Mean serum creatinine was 7.2 mg/ dl (range 0.8-18.1 mg/dl) at presentation. The mean stone size was 115 mm 2 (range 36 to 980 mm 2 ). The majority of the stones were calyceal (n = 10). Ten renal units (nine patients) required intervention, while the rest were treated conservatively. Treatment offered included open nephrectomy for non-functioning infected kidney (n = 1), extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL, n = 3), ureterorenoscopy (URS, n = 3), and percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL, n = 3). All patients undergoing URS and PCNL had complete clearance, while those undergoing ESWL had a residual stone. Two failed ESWL patients required an auxiliary procedure (retrograde intrarenal surgery, RIRS) and the other was kept under observation. Mean follow-up after treatment was 4.2 years (one month to six years). None of the patients had major complications.
Conclusion: Careful selection of the endourological procedure can give good results in patients of ADPKD with nephrolithiasis.

Keywords: Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease, nephrolithiasis, endourology

How to cite this article:
Baishya R, Dhawan DR, Kurien A, Ganpule A, Sabnis RB, Desai MR. Management of nephrolithiasis in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease - A single center experience. Urol Ann 2012;4:29-33

How to cite this URL:
Baishya R, Dhawan DR, Kurien A, Ganpule A, Sabnis RB, Desai MR. Management of nephrolithiasis in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease - A single center experience. Urol Ann [serial online] 2012 [cited 2021 Nov 29];4:29-33. Available from: https://www.urologyannals.com/text.asp?2012/4/1/29/91618

   Introduction Top

Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) accounts for 8-10% of the patients undergoing renal replacement therapy. [1] Although most patients exhibit an extended period of stability before a progressive decline in renal function, renal failure may be hastened by the onset of hypertension, infection, and nephrolithiasis. The incidence of nephrolithiasis in ADPKD ranges from 10-36%, and the stones produce morbidity by causing pain and obstruction and exacerbating the urinary tract infection. [2] Nearly half of the patients are symptomatic, of whom 20% ultimately require urologic intervention. [3] Ultrasonography is used primarily to diagnose such cases. With the advent of a CT scan, it is now the most commonly used modality for evaluation. Studies regarding the management of these patients are sparse in world literature. We present our experience in the management of nephrolithiasis in ADPKD patients.

   Materials and Methods Top

Medical records of patients with ADPKD since 1992 were reviewed. All patients were evaluated for urinary tract infection along with X-ray KUB (kidney, ureter, and bladder) [Figure 1] and ultrasonography [Figure 2]. In view of the deranged renal function, a non-contrast Computed Tomogram (CT) [Figure 3] was used for delineation of the local anatomy and size and location of the calculi. The type of intervention was chosen primarily on stone size, location, and presence of infection. Every case received consultation from the Nephrology Department as a part of the initial evaluation. Attention was paid to correct electrolyte imbalance and to treat urinary tract infection preoperatively. The obstruction was relieved in an urgent manner with either a DJ stent or percutaneous nephrostomy. Any stone more than 15 mm in the largest diameter was planned for percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL). Small non-obstructing stones were treated conservatively. Conservative treatment included increased fluid intake, oral alkalization therapy, and regular follow-up. All patients were followed up with blood chemistries, urine examination, X-ray, and ultrasonography (USG) of the KUB region at one month, to locate any residual gravel. Subsequent follow-up comprised of three monthly visits.
Figure 1: X-ray KUB of a patient with bilateral renal stones (Large renal shadows seen)

Click here to view
Figure 2: Ultrasonography of a patient with multiple cyst and renal stone

Click here to view
Figure 3: Showing CT scan of two patients with stones in left kidney

Click here to view

   Results Top

There were 19 patients (23 renal units) with ADPKD, who had nephrolithiasis. The patient demography is given in [Table 1].
Table 1: Details of patient demography

Click here to view

Ten renal units in nine patients required interventions. The options offered were

  1. Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL)
  2. Ureterorenoscopy (URS)
  3. Retrograde intra renal surgery (RIRS)
  4. Percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL)
  5. Nephrectomy

Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy

ESWL was performed using Dornier Compact Delta in a single session in two patients. Shocks were limited to less than 1500 in one sitting. Only low energy shocks (Below 13 kV) were given to prevent cyst hemorrhage. Detail of the procedure is shown in [Table 2].
Table 2: Details of extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy

Click here to view

None of the patients experienced any hematuria or pain due to cyst hemorrhage.

Percutaneous nephrolithotomy

Three patients underwent PCNL. Details are given in [Table 3].
Table 3: Details of percutaneous nephrolithotomy

Click here to view

Ultrasonography-guided puncture was attempted in order to prevent cyst rupture in two cases (One with multiple stones and another with a large pelvic stone). The third patient required a fluoroscopy-guided puncture as the pelvicalyceal system could not be identified properly because of multiple cysts. A total of four punctures and three tracts were used. Few stones were in inaccessible calyces. A puncture wash was found to be useful in such situations instead of making additional tracts, which could result in further nephron loss and increased morbidity. None of the patients required blood transfusion. The staghorn stone in the third patient was cleared in two stages.


Ureterorenoscopy was tried in two patients (three renal units). Details are given in [Table 4].
Table 4: Details of ureterorenoscopy

Click here to view


One lady with a right lower ureteric stone was detected to have a stricture distal to the stone. LASER endoureterotomy with double J stenting stabilized the stricture part.

Retrograde intra renal surgery

This procedure was performed in two patients for residual stones following ESWL. The stones were broken with a Holmium Yag LASER at an energy setting of 10-12 watts. A double J stent was kept for one month. Both the procedures were uneventful with patients being stone-free one month after the procedure.


Nephrectomy was performed in one patient with calculus pyonephrosis, when his fever persisted even after putting in a percutaneous nephrostomy tube.

Overall, the mean hospital stay for all the patients undergoing intervention was five days (range four to twelve days). Subsequent to the conservative management, including percutaneous nephrostomy or dialysis, as indicated, the mean serum creatinine, prior to intervention, averaged at 2.4 mg/dl (range 1.1 to 18.1). The mean serum creatinine after intervention was 1.4 mg/dl. (range 1.3 to 2.1). Two patients were detected to have chronic kidney disease status on follow-up. However, they are yet to receive any renal replacement therapy after a follow-up of three years.

Conservative treatment

Ten patients were treated conservatively. Of them, two patients were lost to follow-up and three patients underwent renal transplant. However, intervention for stone disease was not required in any of these patients in a mean follow-up of three years. Urine metabolic study was available in only five patients. Of these, three patients had only hypocitraturia, one had only hypercalciuria, and one patient had both. Stone analysis was available in only seven patients. Three had uric acid stones, while the others had calcium oxalate monohydrate stones.

   Discussion Top

Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease is a common presentation in any nephro-urological set-up. Nephrolithiasis in such patients is seen in 10-36% of the cases. [2] In our series, the incidence of stone disease in ADPKD patients was 19/452 (4.2%). The exact etiology is still not completely elucidated. However, both the anatomic and metabolic factors are implicated as causative factors. Urinary stasis occurs due to large cysts. These patients have a low glomerular filtration rate (GFR), urinary volume, a lower level of magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and citrate in the urine. [3],[4],[5] Unfortunately in our series, the result of urine metabolic evaluation was available only in five patients, to come to any conclusion. Diagnosis of nephrolithiasis in such patients is challenging due to a distorted anatomy, cyst wall, and associated parenchymal calcifications. [3] We believe a CT scan holds an edge over USG or intravenous urography in the diagnosis of stone disease. [6] A CT scan is helpful to detect radiolucent stones and to differentiate it from calcifications. A three-dimensional reconstruction of the stone helps in the planning of the percutaneous tract in PCNL. Intravenous urography is not possible in all patients due to the associated renal dysfunction. Plain X-ray KUB might not show all the stones, as most of them are radiolucent uric acid stones (56-71%). [7]

Asymptomatic patients can be managed conservatively, for example, oral alkalization therapy. [1]

However, half of the patients are symptomatic. [1] In our series only two patients (10.5%) were asymptomatic and one of them had a staghorn stone. Few decades ago all such patients had to undergo the trauma of open surgery. [3] All sorts of endourological processes were tried in such patients. ESWL is the most commonly performed procedure. [1] Success rates from 43 to 85% have been reported. [1] In the series published by Delakas in 1997, an average of 1800 shocks were given with low energy (Below 21 kV). Transient gross hematuria was the observation in the postoperative period. There was no cyst hemorrhage, decrease in hemoglobin or deterioration in the renal function. The stone-free rate was 85% at three months. [5] With improvement in the armamentarium, URS and RIRS have become exciting options in the management of these patients. Percutaneous management has been rarely performed in the published series. [1] Concerns of percutaneous puncture are cyst puncture, cyst bleeding, and infection. Also getting access to the pelvicalyceal system is difficult. Need for special smaller caliber instruments with extralength and not be overemphasized in view of altered anatomy and long and narrow infundibulum. However, Umbreit et al., found PCNL to be safe and efficacious for patients of ADPKD with a large stone burden, despite increased operative complexity, need of multiple punctures, and repeat endoscopy. [7] We prefer an ultrasonography-guided puncture to a pelvicalyceal system, to avoid cyst puncture during PCNL. Being already with a reduced renal reserve, this group of patients needs special care. From this study, we would like to emphasize a few points.

As most patients are asymptomatic, suspicion is important to recognize stones. Team approach including the treating urologist and nephrologist is important. Preoperative correction of electrolyte imbalance is essential, and if required dialysis. Preoperative correction of urinary tract infection and urgent de-obstruction of the system may be performed if indicated. Careful selection of the procedure should be done in an individualized fashion. Additional puncture in PCNL can be avoided by a puncture wash. Vigilant follow-up of patients and patient counseling/education regarding the disease are important.

There are multiple limitations of the study. Being a retrospective study, details of all patients were not available. Few patients were lost to follow-up. The number of patients was small.

   Conclusions Top

Team approach and careful selection of the endourological procedure can give good result in patients of ADPKD with nephrolithiasis. However, a further multi-institutional study is required for better understanding, better treatment, and better outcome of the condition.

   References Top

1.Ng CS, Yost A, Streem SB. Nephrolithiasis associated with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease: Contemporary urological management. J Urol 2000;163:726-9.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Torres VE, Wilson DM, Hattery RR, Segura JW. Renal stone disease in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease. Am J Kidney Dis 1993;22:513-9.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Torres VE, Erickson SB, Smith LH, Wilson DM, Hattery RR, Segura JW. The association of nephrolithiasis and autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease. Am J Kidney Dis 1988;11:318-25.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Grampsas SA, Chandhoke PS, Fan J, Glass MA, Townsend R, Johnson AM, et al. Anatomic and metabolic risk factors for nephrolithiasis in patients with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease. Am J Kidney Dis 2000;36:53-7.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Delakas D, Daskalopoulos G, Cranidis A. Extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy for urinary calculi in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease. J Endourol 1997;11:167-70.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Levine E, Grantham JJ. The role of computed tomography in the evaluation of adult polycystic kidney disease. Am J Kidney Dis 1981;1:99-105.  Back to cited text no. 6
7.Umbreit EC, Childs MA, Patterson DE, Torres VE, LeRoy AJ, Gettman MT. Percutaneous nephrolithotomy for large or multiple upper tract calculi and autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease. J Urol 2010;183:183-7.  Back to cited text no. 7


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3]

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4]

This article has been cited by
1 Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy Under X-Ray–Free Technique in Upper Urinary Stone Patients with Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease: Experience from a Large-Volume Stone Management Center
Bo Xiao, Gang Zhang, Chaoyue Ji, Song Jin, Weiguo Hu, Wenjie Bai, Yuzhe Tang, Bixiao Wang, Jianxing Li
Journal of Endourology. 2021; 35(7): 967
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
2 Advances in Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease: A Clinical Review
Niloofar Nobakht, Ramy M. Hanna, Maha Al-Baghdadi, Khalid Mohammed Ameen, Farid Arman, Ehsan Nobahkt, Mohammad Kamgar, Anjay Rastogi
Kidney Medicine. 2020; 2(2): 196
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
3 Stone Prevalence in Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Vinusha Kalatharan, Gary Grewal, Danielle M Nash, Blayne Welk, Sisira Sarma, York Pei, Amit X. Garg
Canadian Journal of Kidney Health and Disease. 2020; 7: 2054358120
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
4 Efficacy and Safety of Surgical Kidney Stone Interventions in Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease: A Systematic Review
Vinusha Kalatharan, Racquel Jandoc, Gary Grewal, Danielle M. Nash, Blayne Welk, Sisira Sarma, York Pei, Amit X. Garg
Canadian Journal of Kidney Health and Disease. 2020; 7: 2054358120
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
5 Complications in Patients With Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease Undergoing Ureteroscopy: A Cohort Study
Vinusha Kalatharan, Blayne Welk, Danielle M. Nash, Eric McArthur, Justin Slater, Sisira Sarma, York Pei, Amit X. Garg
Canadian Journal of Kidney Health and Disease. 2020; 7: 2054358120
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
6 Association between Nephrolithiasis, Hypertension and Obesity in Polycystic Kidney Disease
Valbona Bajrami, Alma Idrizi, Enver Roshi, Myftar Barbullushi
Open Access Macedonian Journal of Medical Sciences. 2015; 4(1): 43
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
7 A stepwise approach for effective management of chronic pain in autosomal-dominant polycystic kidney disease
N. F. Casteleijn,F. W. Visser,J. P. H. Drenth,T. J. G. Gevers,G. J. Groen,M. C. Hogan,R. T. Gansevoort,J. P. H. Drenth,J. W. de Fijter,R. T. Gansevoort,D. J. M. Peters,J. Wetzels,R. Zietse
Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation. 2014; 29(suppl 4): iv142
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
8 percutaneous nephrolithotomy in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease: is it different from percutaneous nephrolithotomy in normal kidney?
singh, v. and sinha, r.j. and gupta, d.k.
current urology. 2013; 7(1): 7-13


    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
    Access Statistics
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

  In this article
    Materials and Me...
    Article Figures
    Article Tables

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded596    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 8    

Recommend this journal