Rising Infection in Women with Stones

Sepsis rates related to urolithiasis higher among women than men

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Chris Galloway, M.D.

(RxWiki News) In most cases, people pass kidney stones without any major problems. Still, some patients with kidney stones may face complications.

Even though men were more likely than women to develop kidney stones, women with kidney stones were more likely than men with kidney stones to develop infection, according to recent research.

"Watch what you eat to avoid kidney stones."

The research was carried out by Jesse Sammon, DO, Urology Resident at Henry Ford's Vattikuti Urology Institute, and colleagues.

In addition to showing that women with urolithiasis (stones in the kidney or urinary tract) had a higher risk of infection than men with the same condition, the study showed that rates of infection are on the rise.

Over the course of 10 years, infection rates among women with stones rose from 15.5 per 100,000 to 27.6 per 100,000. In men, infection rates increased from 7.8 per 100,000 to 12.1 per 100,000.

According to Dr. Sammon, "The research study was conducted because the rate of infection related to urolithiasis was not known, and evidence was unclear about the best method for treating it."

For their study, the researchers looked at how often urolithiasis patients were treated with one of two procedures: retrograde ureteral catheterization (RUC) or percutaneous nephrostomy (PCN).

In RUC, a catheter is inserted into the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder. The catheter drains urine blocked by stones, relieving pressure on the kidney.

In PCN, a surgical tool is used to pierce through the patient's back and into the kidney to relieve the pressure and allow urine to flow out of the tube.

The researchers found that PCN was associated with higher rates of sepsis, severe sepsis and longer hospital stays. However, the researchers noted that they left out certain variables to make a good comparison.

Sepsis is a potentially deadly body-wide inflammation set off by infection.

The study's results showed that rates of sepsis among urolithiasis patients rose from 6.9 percent 8.5 percent. Rates of severe sepsis rose from 1.7 percent to 3.2 percent.

According to the authors, more research is needed to see if PCN is actually associated with higher rates of sepsis.

The research - which included 400,000 urolithiasis patients - was funded by Henry Ford Hospital.

The study was published in European Urology, a journal of the European Association of Urology.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
September 26, 2012
Last Updated:
September 27, 2012