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PURPOSE: We assessed the success of retrograde placement of indwelling ureteral stents in the management of ureteral obstruction due to extrinsic compression. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Between July 1987 and December 2002 adequate followup was available for 101 patients who underwent primary retrograde ureteral stenting for extrinsic ureteral obstruction. Mean age at presentation was 61.4 years (range 33 to 90). Chart review was performed on all patients for primary diagnosis, symptomatology, degree of hydronephrosis, creatinine levels (baseline, treatment and posttreatment), location of compression, size and number of stents used, progression to percutaneous nephrostomy tube (PNT), stent failure, days to stent failure, post-stent therapy and status at last followup. RESULTS: Mean length of followup was 11 months (range 1 to 127). In 101 patients 138 ureteral units (UU) were stented. Total stent failure occurred in 41 (40.6%) patients and 58 (42.0%) UU. A total of 40 (29.0%) UU required PNTs at a mean of 40.3 days (range 0 to 330) with 18 PNTs placed in less than 1 week. Cases of stent failure that did not undergo PNT placement included 18 (13.0%) UU at a mean of 52.4 days (range 3 to 128). A total of 90 (89.1%) patients had metastatic cancer at stenting with 32.2% dead at 5.8 months (range 1 to 32). Univariate and multivariate analyses identified cancer diagnosis, baseline creatinine greater than 1.3 mg/dl and post-stent systemic treatment as predictors of stent failure. Proximal location of compression and treatment creatinine greater than 3.11 mg/dl were marginal predictors of failure on univariate analysis, while proximal location of obstruction was also marginally significant on multivariate analysis. No predictors were identified for early stent failure (less than 1 week). CONCLUSIONS: At almost 1 year followup stent failure due to extrinsic compression occurred in nearly half of treated patients. Analysis of data revealed a diagnosis of cancer, baseline mild renal insufficiency and metastatic disease requiring chemotherapy or radiation as predictors of stent failure. Managing extrinsic compression by retrograde stenting continues to be a practical but guarded decision and should be tailored to each patient.

Original publication




Journal article


J Urol

Publication Date





592 - 595


Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Algorithms, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Gastrointestinal Neoplasms, Humans, Logistic Models, Male, Middle Aged, Multivariate Analysis, Prosthesis Failure, Stents, Ureteral Obstruction