Acute management of stones: when to treat or not to treat?

World J Urol. 2015 Feb;33(2):203-11. doi: 10.1007/s00345-014-1353-y. Epub 2014 Jul 2.


Introduction: Stone management is often conservative due to a high spontaneous stone passage rate or non-symptomatic calyceal stones that do not necessarily require active treatment. However, stone disease may cause symptoms and complications requiring urgent intervention.

Material and methods: In this review, we update latest research and current recommendations regarding acute management of stones, with particular focus on imaging, pain management, active stone interventions, medical expulsive therapy, and urolithiasis in pregnancy and childhood.

Results: Acute stone management should be planned with careful consideration of stone size and location, symptoms, patient comorbidity and radiation dose.

Conclusion: In case of infective hydronephrosis, compromised renal function or persistent pain despite adequate analgesic treatment acute intervention is indicated.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Analgesics / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Decompression, Surgical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pain / drug therapy*
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / therapy*
  • Pyonephrosis / etiology
  • Pyonephrosis / therapy
  • Urinary Calculi / complications
  • Urinary Calculi / therapy
  • Urolithiasis / complications
  • Urolithiasis / therapy*
  • Urological Agents / therapeutic use


  • Analgesics
  • Urological Agents