IS ROUTINE URETERIC STENTING NEEDED IN KIDNEY TRANSPLANTATION? A RANDOMIZED TRIAL
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BACKGROUND: Whether routine ureteric stenting in low-urological-risk patients reduces the risk of urological complications in kidney transplantation is not established. METHODS: Eligible patients were recipients of single-organ renal transplants with normal lower urinary tracts. Patients were randomized intraoperatively to receive either routine stenting or stenting only in the event of technical difficulties with the anastomosis. All patients underwent Lich-Gregoire ureteroneocystostomy. RESULTS: Between June 1994 and December 1997, 331 kidney transplants were performed at a single center, 305 patients were eligible, and 280 patients were enrolled and randomized. Donor and recipient age, sex, donor source, whether first or subsequent grafts, ureteric length, native renal disease, and immunosuppression were similar in each group. In the no-routine-stenting group 6 of 137 patients (4.4%) received stents after randomization for intraoperative events that in the surgeon's opinion required use of a stent. In an intention-to-treat analysis there was no difference between groups in the primary outcome cluster of obstruction or leak [routine stenting 5 of 143 (3.5%) vs. no routine stenting 9 of 137 (6.6%); P=0.23], or in either of these complications analyzed separately. All urological complications were successfully managed without major morbidity. Living donor organs and shorter ureteric length (after trimming) were univariate risk factors for leaks, although increasing donor age was associated with obstruction. CONCLUSIONS: Routine ureteric stenting is unnecessary in kidney transplantation in patients at low risk for urological complications. Careful surgical technique with selective stenting of problematic anastomoses yields similar results.
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