Septic Shock Following Surgical Decompression of Obstructing Ureteral Stones: A Prospective Analysis

J Endourol. 2018 May;32(5):446-450. doi: 10.1089/end.2017.0896. Epub 2018 Mar 20.


Purpose: To investigate risk factors for septic shock and death in patients with obstructive pyelonephritis due to ureteral stone, who underwent urinary tract decompression.

Patients and methods: We prospectively enrolled patients who presented at the emergency department of our institution with clinical signs of pyelonephritis, Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (SIRS), and obstructive ureteral stone confirmed by computed tomography scan. Forty patients that underwent urinary tract decompression were included. Demographical, medical, and laboratorial characteristics were recorded; antibiotic regimen and time from presentation to decompression were compared between patients with septic complications.

Results: Septic shock and death occurred in 6 (15%) and 2 (5%) patients, respectively. Gender, age, and comorbidities were not associated with septic complications. Urinary culture was negative in 40% of the cohort and the most prevalent pathogen was Escherichia coli. Administration of antibiotics other than third-generation cephalosporin was associated with septic shock (p = 0.02). There was no difference between groups regarding the time of antibiotics use (p = 0.63) and time from presentation to urinary tract decompression (p = 0.07). Patients with leukocyte count above 15.6 × 103/μL had 2.2-fold greater risk of having septic shock (p = 0.027).

Conclusions: We failed to find an association between time of antibiotic use or delayed urinary tract decompression and occurrence of septic complications; antibiotic choice was determinant of prognosis. Elevated serum leukocytes could be used as a trigger to indicate prompt surgical intervention.

Keywords: pyelonephritis; septic shock; ureteral stone; urinary tract decompression; urinary tract infection.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Comorbidity
  • Decompression, Surgical*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pyelonephritis / complications
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Shock, Septic / epidemiology
  • Shock, Septic / etiology*
  • Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome / complications
  • Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Ureteral Calculi / complications*
  • Ureteral Calculi / surgery
  • Ureteral Obstruction / complications*
  • Ureteral Obstruction / surgery
  • Urinary Tract Infections / complications
  • Urinary Tract Infections / drug therapy


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents