The correlation between stone nephrolithometry score and hemoglobin drop in patients undergoing percutaneous nephrolithotomy

Mohammad Shoaib, Aga Khan University
Muhibullah Bangash, Aga Khan University
Basit Salam, Aga Khan University
Hammad Ather, Aga Khan University

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Objective: In this study, we aimed to determine the correlation between the STONE score [(S)ize of the stone, (T)opography or location, degree of (O)bstruction of the urinary system, (N)umber of stones, and (E)valuation of Hounsfield units] and postoperative hemoglobin drop in patients undergoing percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL).
Methods: This was a prospective observational study and all adult patients aged 18-65 years undergoing unilateral, single-tract PCNL using 26 Ch. Amplatz sheath for renal calculi were included. The five variables of the STONE nephrolithometry score were calculated prior to the procedure. The stone-free rates were assessed on imaging at four weeks and complications were graded using the modified Clavien system.
Results: Of the 142 patients included, 75% were below 55 years of age. More than half of our patients were diabetic with more than 60% having a body mass index (BMI) above 25 kg/m2. The mean STONE score was 7 with 33% having a high (>9) STONE score. The mean hemoglobin drop was 1.15 +0.92 g/dL with eight patients (5.63%) requiring transfusion and one (0.7%) requiring angioembolization; one patient required readmission for observation. Complete STONE clearance was achieved with PCNL alone in 78.2% of the patients. There was a significant correlation of hemoglobin drop with the STONE score, stone size, and preoperative creatinine clearance. Patients with a hemoglobin drop of >1 g/dL had a higher STONE score and mean stone size. The overall complication rate was significantly higher (10.5%) in patients with a hemoglobin drop of >1 g/dL as compared to those with a hemoglobin drop of <1 g>/dL (2.8%).
Conclusion: Stone complexity as measured by the STONE score correlates with post-PCNL hemoglobin drop, stone clearance, and complication rates. The STONE score may be used for preoperative counseling and to evaluate the potential need for transfusion.