We compared the results and complications of percutaneous removal of staghorn renal calculi in 36 men and 59 women aged 16 to 64 years (group I) with those in 13 men and 29 women aged 65 to 80 years (group II). The two groups had similar signs and symptoms and similar rates of previous stone surgery (31.6% in group I and 23.8% in group II). Stone-free rates at discharge were 86.3% in group I and 85.7% in group II. The most common complication was fever (60% in group I; 54.8% in group II) that was seldom associated with infection. Bleeding necessitating transfusion occurred in 43.2% of patients in group I and 42.9% of those in group II. There was a greater frequency of significant bleeding with increasing number of nephrostomy tracts in group I but not in group II. Elderly patients who required transfusion tended to require a greater number of units of blood. Other complications, which generally were managed conservatively, were uncommon in both groups. Percutaneous removal of staghorn calculi is safe and effective in the elderly.
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