Purpose: Previous reports suggest a high success rate for retrograde ureteral stenting for intrinsic ureteral obstruction, but few preoperative predictors of success have been offered. We reviewed our experience to look for factors that suggest failure of stents for intrinsic ureteral obstruction.
Materials and methods: We retrospectively reviewed the outcome of retrograde ureteral stent placement for intrinsic ureteral obstruction without concurrent or intended definitive management of the obstruction.
Results: Thirty-eight patients treated for intrinsic ureteral obstruction, representing 41 ureteral units (UUs), were monitored for an average of 25.5 months. The overall success rate was 88%. Of the successes, 13 UUs had definitive therapy to permanently remove the cause of obstruction, obstruction resolved in 12 UUs after stent placement, and 11 UUs were managed with indwelling stents. Therapy failed in five UUs, with a median time to failure of 1.9 months. Of the UUs in which failure occurred, three failures were caused by misdiagnosis; in the remaining two, the stent did not correct the obstruction. On univariate analysis, male sex (P = 0.006), increased creatinine level as a presenting symptom (P = 0.002), and more severe preoperative hydronephrosis (P = 0.042) were predictive of failure. Adverse events were low, with complications from stenting occurring on only four of 41 UUs.
Conclusion: If initial stent placement was possible, intrinsic ureteral obstruction was managed successfully in 88% of patients. Given high success and minimal complications, retrograde placement of ureteral stents can be performed to treat patients with intrinsic ureteral obstruction. Treatment failure is more likely to occur in men and patients with severe hydronephrosis or an elevated creatinine level.