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Volume 10 (2010), Pages 1566-1573
Research Article

Metallic Full-Length Ureteral Stents: Does Urinary Tract Infection Cause Obstruction?

Department of Surgery, Division of Urology, Medical College of Georgia Hospitals and Clinics, Augusta, GA, USA

Received 1 April 2010; Revised 20 July 2010; Accepted 22 July 2010

Academic Editor: Anthony Atala

Copyright © 2010 James A. Brown et al.


Metallic ureteral stents promise to offer superior upper urinary tract drainage with extended exchange intervals and freedom from extrinsic compression in patients with advanced malignancy or other significant obstructing retroperitoneal or pelvic processes. Existing literature indicates a variable experience with these relatively new devices, with some investigators reporting excellent results and long problem-free intervals, and others reporting less enthusiastic outcomes. We report a retrospective review of a series of five sequential patients undergoing placement of Resonance® (Cook Medical, Bloomington, IN) metallic ureteral stents for extrinsic ureteral compression refractory to placement of traditional (polymer) ureteral stents. Of five patients reviewed, three (60%) required additional operative intervention for stent migration or malposition. Four patients (80%) died of their primary malignancy <12 months after metallic stent placement. Four (80%) of five patients had obstruction of their stents demonstrated with nuclear renography and/or other imaging, and three (60%) required removal and alternative means of urinary tract drainage within 4 months of placement due to obstruction, intractable pain, or migration. Four patients (80%) had urinary tract infections (UTIs) within 4 months of stent placement. No obstruction was seen due to extrinsic ureteral compression after stent placement. Metallic ureteral stents may have utility for patients with pathological processes causing extrinsic ureteral compression refractory to the use of traditional polymer ureteral stents. However, metallic ureteral stents are not immune to obstruction, migration, and associated discomfort. Stent obstruction appears to be increased in patients with postoperative UTI.