Urolithiasis in the horseshoe kidney: a single-centre experience


Mahesh Desai, Chairman, Department of Urology, Muljibhai Patel Urological Hospital, Dr Virendra Desai Road, Nadiad, Gujarat 387001, India.
e-mail: mrdesai@mpuh.org



To report the operative management and subsequent stone-free rates of patients with urolithiasis in a horseshoe kidney and treated at one centre.


We retrospectively reviewed all patients presenting to our centre with a horseshoe kidney and urolithiasis over a 15-year period. The stone burden, surgical management, complications and stone clearance rates were recorded.


In all, 55 patients with urolithiasis in horseshoe kidney were treated. Percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL) was used in 60 renal units in 47 patients. Five patients had extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL), two had flexible ureteroscopy and one had a laparoscopic pyelolithotomy for a stone extending into the isthmus. PCNL was used for large stones (mean digitized surface area = 614.32 mm2) and required one to four stages to achieve an overall stone clearance rate of 88%. Stones were cleared at one sitting in 77% of PCNL procedures, completely cleared in two-thirds of patients treated by ESWL, and in both who had flexible ureteroscopy and the one treated with laparoscopic pyelolithotomy. Complications were minimal, with 15% minor and 3% major complications in the PCNL group only.


Appropriate management of urolithiasis within the horseshoe kidney depends not only on stone burden, but also on stone location, calyceal configuration and malrotation. Stones can be cleared successfully in almost all patients providing that all techniques are available to the operating surgeon.