[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PNL) is still the gold-standard treatment for large and/or complex renal stones. Evolution in the endoscopic instrumentation and innovation in the surgical skills improved its success rate and reduced perioperative morbidity. ECIRS (Endoscopic Combined IntraRenal Surgery) is a new way of affording PNL in a modified supine position, approaching antero-retrogradely to the renal cavities, and exploiting the full array of endourologic equipment. ECIRS summarizes the main issues recently debated about PNL.
The recent literature regarding supine PNL and ECIRS has been reviewed, namely about patient positioning, synergy between operators, procedures, instrumentation, accessories and diagnostic tools, step-by-step standardization along with versatility of the surgical sequence, minimization of radiation exposure, broadening to particular and/or complex patients, limitation of post-operative renal damage.
Supine PNL and ECIRS are not superior to prone PNL in terms of urological results, but guarantee undeniable anesthesiological and management advantages for both patient and operators. In particular, ECIRS requires from the surgeon a permanent mental attitude to synergy, standardized surgical steps, versatility and adherence to the ongoing clinical requirements. ECIRS can be performed also in particular cases, irrespective to age or body habitus. The use of flexible endoscopes during ECIRS contributes to minimizing radiation exposure, hemorrhagic risk and post-PNL renal damage.
ECIRS may be considered an evolution of the PNL procedure. Its proposal has the merit of having triggered the critical analysis of the various PNL steps and of patient positioning, and of having transformed the old static PNL into an updated approach.
World Journal of Urology 11/2011; 29(6):821-7. · 2.89 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES: To compare the occurrence of depression, anxiety, self body image perception, sleep disturbances, and diminished quality of life in prostate cancer patients undergoing adjuvant androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) as opposed to patients in follow-up alone. METHODS AND MATERIALS: Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, Restless Legs Syndrome Study Group essential diagnostic criteria, Body Image Scale and Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy Prostate were administered to consecutive prostate cancer patients who underwent radical prostatectomy or radiation therapy and are presently either under adjuvant ADT or included in a follow-up program. RESULTS: Of the 103 patients enrolled, 49 (47.6%) were receiving adjuvant ADT and 54 (52.4%) were not. Compared with the controls, the patients undergoing ADT showed higher levels of depression (P = 0.002), worse self body image perception (P = 0.001), worse quality of life (P = 0.0001) and worse sleep quality (P = 0.04). ADT was significantly associated with depression at multivariate analysis after adjustment for age, stage, Gleason score, as well as demographic and social variables (P = 0.001). Depression scores showed a strong inverse correlation with quality of life scores (P < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: Adjuvant ADT is associated with depression, worse quality of life, and altered self body image in prostate cancer patients.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PNL), although practiced for almost 30 years, is still the most appropriate treatment modality for several forms of renal stones. We analysed a number of very recent advances in PNL technique, contributing to the continuous improvement of its efficacy and safety.
A thorough review of the recent literature identifies five major progressing areas, inspiring fruitful innovations in PNL technique: imaging (computed tomography being the standard tool) before, during and after the procedure; patient positioning (the traditional prone position being now challenged with the emerging supine positions); endoscopic combined intrarenal surgery (ECIRS), a versatile antero-retrograde approach to the upper urinary tract and a new comprehensive attitude of the urologist toward the various PNL steps; intracorporeal lithotripsy (improved by new devices combining ultrasonic and pneumatic lithotripsy, or ultrasonic and high-power holmium: YAG laser lithotripsy); and post-PNL tube management (namely nephrostomy-free and totally tubeless procedures).
Urologists dedicate significant efforts to the improvement of the PNL procedure, with the aim of further increasing its stone-free outcomes and reducing patient morbidity. Large-scale multicentre prospective trials are needed to define benefits and identify possible drawbacks of the described innovations in percutaneous stone management.
Current opinion in urology 03/2011; 21(2):154-60. · 2.50 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several data suggest that neuroendocrine (NE) differentiation in prostate cancer is implicated in the development of resistance to androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT). This study was undertaken to assess the prognostic role of tissue chromogranin A (CgA) expression in patients addressed to ADT as opposed to those who did not.
Four hundred fourteen newly diagnosed prostate cancer patients, consecutively recruited in a single institution, entered the study. Two hundred fourteen patients received ADT early after diagnosis, 200 did not. Median follow-up was 85 months. CgA expression was evaluated immunohistochemically in prostate cancer needle biopsies.
In multivariate analysis after adjusting for Gleason score, serum PSA, disease stage and local treatments, tissue CgA expression in overall cases was significantly associated with a shorter survival (P = 0.009) but failed to be associated with PSA progression (P = 0.10). Dividing patients according to whether they received immediate ADT or not, tissue CgA was associated with a shorter time to PSA progression in ADT-treated patients (hazard ratios (HR) 1.96, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.37-2.81, P = 0.0001), but failed to be associated in those who did not (HR 0.87, 95% CI: 0.58-1.30, P = 0.49), interaction test P = 0.007. Conversely the survival effect of tissue CgA was not modified by ADT (interaction test, P = 0.41).
Tissue CgA expression, evaluated in prostate cancer needle biopsies at diagnosis, is an independent prognostic factor of survival in prostate cancer patients. The negative influence of NE differentiation on time to progression confined in ADT-treated patients suggests a role of NE differentiation in predicting endocrine resistance that deserves validation.
The Prostate 05/2010; 70(7):718-26. · 3.84 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The prone position has been considered the only position for percutaneous access to the kidney for the past 25 years, whereas the supine Valdivia position has recently started to gain acceptance, although it was originally described in the late 1980s. Even more recently, the Galdakao-modified supine Valdivia position was described. However, there is no consensus on which is the best position for percutaneous nephrolithotomy, and the choice is currently based on the surgeon's preference.
The prone, supine, and modified supine positions are described, pointing out the advantages, disadvantages, and results of each technique.
A number of potential advantages have been described for the supine over the prone position: less cardiovascular change; no need for patient repositioning (with less associated risk of central and peripheral nervous system injury); less X-ray exposure to the surgeon; and less risk of colonic injury. The recently described Galdakao-modified supine Valdivia position allows for a simultaneous anterograde and retrograde approach to the renal cavities for the one-stage treatment of complex renal stones or concurrent renal and ureteral calculi. Moreover, the use of a flexible ureteroscope allows for Endovision puncture to achieve perfect access to the kidney.
The prone position still represents the standard for percutaneous access to the kidney, and other positions should be compared with this position. However, the supine and the modified supine positions have potentially important advantages for both patients and surgeons that need to be investigated in a large randomised trial to define their superiority over the traditional prone position.
Journal of endourology / Endourological Society 03/2010; 24(6):931-8. · 1.75 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: "High burden stones" include single or multiple large calculi (altogether surface area > 300 mm 2, or largest diameter > 20 mm), and staghorn calculi (any branched stone occupying more than one portion of the renal collecting system, i.e. pelvis with one or more calyceal extensions). Since clinically threatening, their active removal is mandatory. All updated guidelines recommend four modalities as potential treatment for large/staghorn urolithiasis, including PNL monotherapy, ESWL monotherapy, combinations of PNL and ESWL, and open surgery. The technical enhancement and increasing spread of PNL, ESWL and ureteroscopy in the past twenty years has led to displacement of the surgical therapy of renoureteral calculi in the daily urological practice (nowadays 1-5.4% of cases in developed countries and in well-equipped, dedicated centres), but open or laparoscopic management of urolithiasis is still a viable option that should be considered in few, highly selected circumstances. Currently, PNL is the preferred first-line, minimally invasive treatment for complete one-step removal of high burden urolithiasis. It has been suggested that two or more access sites may be required for complete clearance, yet implying greater blood loss. The use of single-tract PNL with adjuvant procedures such as flexible ureteroscopy/nephroscopy may decrease the disadvantages of the multiple-tract PNL without compromising on stone-free rates. ECIRS (= endoscopic combined intrarenal surgery) is a new, versatile approach for the treatment of large and/or complex urolithiasis. Combining the anterograde and retrograde approach to the renal cavities, ECIRS allows the combined use of all the rigid and flexible endourological armamentarium, and optimal endovision percutaneous renal puncture, preliminary evaluation of renal stones features, negligible need of multiple percutaneous accesses, immediate treatment of concomitant ureteral calculi or ureteropyelic junction stenoses; final visual control of the stone-free status. ECIRS is usually performed in the Galdakao-modified supine Valdivia position, the only patient position supporting this comprehensive attitude of the urologist towards upper urinary tract pathologies. Optimal planning of a safe and effective ECIRS procedure also benefits from an accurate preliminary three-dimensional study by means of tomography urography of the pelvicalyceal anatomy (which is complex and often highly variable) and of the stone features (site, number, size).
Archivio italiano di urologia, andrologia: organo ufficiale [di] Società italiana di ecografia urologica e nefrologica / Associazione ricerche in urologia 03/2010; 82(1):41-2.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Currently, PNL is the treatment of choice for large and/or otherwise complex urolithiasis. PNL was initially performed with the patient in a supine-oblique position, but later on the prone position became the conventional one for habit and handiness. The prone position provides a larger area for percutaneous renal access, a wider space for instrument manipulation, and a claimed lower risk of splanchnic injury. Nonetheless, it implies important anaesthesiological risks, including circulatory, haemodynamic, and ventilatory difficulties; need of several nurses to be present for intraoperative changes of the decubitus in case of simultaneous retrograde instrumentation of the ureter, implying evident risks related to pressure points; an increased radiological hazard to the urologist's hands; patient discomfort. To overcome these drawbacks, various safe and effective changes in patient positioning for PNL have been proposed over the years, including the reverse lithotomy position, the prone split-leg position, the lateral decubitus, the supine position, and the Galdakao-modified supine Valdivia (GMSV) position. Among these, the GMSV position is safe and effective, and seems profitable and ergonomic. It allows optimal cardiopulmonary control during general anaesthesia; an easy puncture of the kidney; a reduced risk of colonic injury; simultaneous antero-retrograde approach to the renal cavities (PNL and retrograde ureteroscopy = ECIRS, Endoscopic Combined IntraRenal Surgery), with no need of intraoperative repositioning of the anaesthetized patient, less need for nurses in the operating room, less occupational risk due to shifting of heavy loads, less risk of pressure injuries related to inaccurate repositioning, and reduced duration of the procedure; facilitated spontaneous evacuation of stone fragments; a comfortable sitting position and a restrained X-ray exposure of the hands for the urologist. But, first of all, GMSV position fully supports a new comprehensive attitude of the urologist towards a variety of upper urinary tract pathologies, facing them with a rich armamentarium of rigid and flexible endoscopes and a versatile antero-retrograde approach. Prone position may still be useful in case of important vertebral malformations, specifically hindering the supine position, or for simultaneous bilateral PNL, without having to move the patient intraoperatively, so is still present in the complementary techniques of a skilled endourologist.
Archivio italiano di urologia, andrologia: organo ufficiale [di] Società italiana di ecografia urologica e nefrologica / Associazione ricerche in urologia 03/2010; 82(1):30-1.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transitional cell carcinoma of the upper urinary tract (UUT-TCC) is relatively uncommon, accounting for 2-5% of all urothelial tumors. Its incidence appears to be increasing as a result of progress in imaging, endoscopy, and improved survival from bladder cancer. Renal pelvis tumors represent 10% of all renal cancers. Pyelic neoplasms occur at a rate twice to four times the incidence of tumors in the ureter, where the common site is the distal tract (about 70%). One third of UUT-TCC ore multifocal, and about 1% are simultaneous and bilateral. The introduction of lasers represented a big step in the diagnosis and endoscopic treatment of upper urinary tract tumors. A successful laser treatment is defined by the careful selection of the patients affected by urinary tract lesions. Usually, only patients affected by low grade and papillary lesion should be treated endoscopically with laser. Patients with high grade and invasive lesions should rather be submitted to surgical procedure. Actually, the urologist has a wide choice in laser technology (Holmium laser, Thulium laser). For a correct and safe treatment of ureteral and pyelic lesions with lasers it is mandatory to respect some technical advises. First of all, an adequate access for a good vision of ureter and renal pelvis is imperative. In fact, the urologist should always work in safety, with an optimal control of the instrumentation. Then, it is important to define the laser type and its energy level. The development in laser technology (i.e. small and flexible laser fibers) allows also a radical, safe and minimally invasive treatment of urothelial lesions using flexible ureteroscopes. Of course it is mandatory to evaluate the grade and stage of the tumors by means of the ureteroscopic biopsies: invasive tumors must be treated by immediate nephroureterectomy while the endoscopic treatment should be reserved to those patients with a solitary kidney, renal failure, bilateral tumors, severe comorbities or affected by a solitary tumors with <15 mm in diameter and of low-grade/stage.
Archivos españoles de urología 11/2008; 61(9):1080-7.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL), the gold standard for the management of large and/or complex urolithiasis, is conventionally performed with the patient in the prone position, which has several drawbacks. Of the various changes in patient positioning proposed over the years, the Galdakao-modified supine Valdivia (GMSV) position seems the most beneficial. It allows simultaneous performance of PCNL and retrograde ureteroscopy (ECIRS, Endoscopic Combined Intra-Renal Surgery) and has unquestionable anaesthesiological advantages.
To prospectively analyse the safety and efficacy of endoscopic combined intrarenal surgery (ECIRS) in GMSV position for the treatment of large and/or complex urolithiasis.
From April 2004 to December 2007, 127 consecutive patients who were followed in our department for large and/or complex urolithiasis were selected for surgery (American Society of Anesthesiologists [ASA] score 1-3, no active urinary tract infection [UTI], any body mass index [BMI]).
All the patients underwent ECIRS in GMSV position. Technical choices about percutaneous access, endoscopic instruments and accessories, and postoperative renal and ureteral drainage are detailed.
Patients' mean age plus or minus standard deviation (+/- SD) was 53.1 yr+/-14.2. Of the 127 patients, 5.5% had congenital renal abnormalities, 3.9% had solitary kidneys, and 60.6% were symptomatic for renal colics, haematuria, and recurrent UTI. Mean stone size+/-SD was 23.8mm+/-7.3 (range: 11-40); 33.8% of the calculi were calyceal, 33.1% were pelvic, 33.1% were multiple or staghorn, and 4.7% were also ureteral.
Mean operative time+/-SD was 70min+/-28, including patient positioning. Stone-free rate was 81.9% after the first treatment and was 87.4% after a second early treatment using the same percutaneous access during the same hospital stay (mean+/-SD: 5.1 d+/-2.9). We registered overall complications at 38.6% with no splanchnic injuries or deaths and no perioperative anaesthesiological problems.
ECIRS performed in GMSV position seems to be a safe, effective, and versatile procedure with a high one-step stone-free rate, unquestionable anaesthesiological advantages, and no additional procedure-related complications.
European Urology 09/2008; 54(6):1393-403. · 10.48 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To assess changes in prostate cancer clinical and pathologic features by review of 15 years' experience with radical prostatectomy.
A total of 596 consecutive patients who underwent open or laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (RP) between 1991 and 2006 were included. All had clinically localized prostate cancer. Surgical specimens were analyzed or blindly reviewed by a uropathologist, and whole-mount sections were prepared. Statistical analysis evaluated whether significant changes in clinical and pathologic variables occurred over time.
Median prostate specific antigen (PSA) values at diagnosis significantly decreased over time. Definite stage migration was observed, with significant increase of organ-confined tumors. Incidence of seminal vesicle and lymph node involvement declined steadily. Median tumor volume decreased significantly over time (p<0.001). Incidence of nonsignificant cancers at RP increased significantly, reaching 25.6% in 2006. PSA value has progressively lost correlation with prostate cancer volume and today correlates only with prostate gland volume.
Prostate cancer stage and volume at diagnosis have steadily decreased in the last 15 years, likely reflecting increasing use of PSA testing. In early prostate cancer, PSA level no longer correlates with tumor volume.
Analytical and quantitative cytology and histology / the International Academy of Cytology [and] American Society of Cytology 06/2008; 30(3):152-9. · 0.60 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bone metabolic disruption that occurs in bone metastatic prostate cancer could lead to disturbances of calcium metabolism. The prognostic role of either hypocalcemia or hypercalcemia was assessed in a consecutive series of hormone-refractory bone metastatic prostate cancer patients. Serum calcium was measured in 192 patients. The presence of hypocalcemia and hypercalcemia was related with baseline biochemical and clinical characteristics and the role of these two calcium disturbances in predicting prognosis and adverse skeletal-related events (SREs) was assessed. As compared to normocalcemic patients, hypocalcemic patients (n=51) had higher tumor load in bone (P=0.005), higher plasma chromogranin A (CgA, P=0.01), serum alkaline phosphatase (P=0.01), urinary N-telopeptide (NTX, P=0.002) and lower hemoglobin values (P=0.01), while hypercalcemic patients (n=16) had higher plasma CgA (P=0.001) and serum lactate dehydrogenase values (P=0.001), higher bone pain (P=0.003) and a lower frequency of pure osteoblastic lesions (P=0.001). Hypercalcemia was significantly associated with poor prognosis: hazard ratio (HR), 1.9 (95% confidence Interval (CI) 1.2-3.3) and higher risk to develop SREs HR, 2.5 (95% CI 1.2-5.2, P=0.01), while hypocalcemia was not associated with poor prognosis. The prognostic role of hypercalcemia was maintained in multivariate analysis after adjusting for validated prognostic parameters: HR, 2.72 (95% CI 1.1-6.8, P=0.03). These data suggest that serum calcium levels should be taken into account in the clinical decision-making process of bone metastatic prostate cancer patients. Patients with asymptomatic hypercalcemia could benefit of a strict follow-up and an immediate bisphosphonate treatment. Further prospective clinical trials are needed to confirm this finding.
Prostate cancer and prostatic diseases 04/2008; 12(1):94-9. · 2.10 Impact Factor