Ureteric Stenting and Percutaneous Nephrostomy Insertion for Acute Ureteric Obstruction: A Multi-centered Prospective Study to Compare the Quality of Life between both Procedures

W. S. Lim *

Department of Urology, Hospital Selayang, Selangor, Malaysia.

C. H. Goh

Department of Urology, Hospital Selayang, Selangor, Malaysia.

C. K. Tan

Department of Urology, Hospital Sultanah Bahiyah, Alor Setar, Kedah, Malaysia.

Rohana Zainal

Department of Urology, Hospital Sultanah Bahiyah, Alor Setar, Kedah, Malaysia.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Background: To compare the quality of life and pain scores between double J ureteric stenting and percutaneous nephrostomy (PCN) insertion in patients who presented with acute ureteral obstruction secondary to urolithiasis.

Methods: This is a prospective, multi-centre study which compares the quality of life in patients who have either done nephrostomy tube insertion or double J ureteral stenting. This study was performed over a span of 18 months at two urology centres in Malaysia.

40 double J ureteric stents and 40 percutaneous nephrostomy tube patients were recruited for this study. Patients’s pain scores and quality of life post procedures were assessed using the visual analogue scale and EuroQol questionnaires at 2 time points (Day1-2 and at 1 month post drainage).

Results: The patients’ demographics and pre-drainage data were similar except for where the stones were located. Most of the patients with proximal ureteric stones (75%) and those who presented with fever or sepsis (76%) underwent PCN insertion. At time 0, although both groups achieved similar overall QoL and pain scores, more post PCN patients reported difficulties in self-care (p=0.002), mobility (p=0.041) and resuming usual activities (p=0.012). Symptoms in PCN group improved with time, translating in the higher QoL scores at time 1. In contrary, more double J ureteric stenting patients presented to the emergency room with complaints related to their procedure. Moreover, their assessments scores deteriorated over time, and they had a significant higher score in the pain domain compared to PCN patients at time1 (p=0.014).

Conclusion: Both double J ureteric stenting and PCN have negative impacts on a patient’s quality of life. Particularly in usual activities, pain and mobility. If there is a delay in definitive treatment, this study supports the usage of PCN as opposed to double J ureteric stenting. This is evidenced by a marked improvement in a patient’s quality of life score and wellness score with time. In contrary, with the use of double J ureteric stenting, the quality of life and wellness outcomes significantly deteriorates over time as compared to those who have PCN.

Keywords: Ureteric stent, nephrostomy tube, acute ureteral obstruction, quality of life

How to Cite

Lim , W. S., Goh , C. H., Tan , C. K., & Zainal , R. (2023). Ureteric Stenting and Percutaneous Nephrostomy Insertion for Acute Ureteric Obstruction: A Multi-centered Prospective Study to Compare the Quality of Life between both Procedures. Asian Journal of Research and Reports in Urology, 6(1), 11–20. Retrieved from https://journalajrru.com/index.php/AJRRU/article/view/86


Karim R, Sengupta S, Samanta S, Aich RK, Das U, Deb P. Percutaneous nephrostomy by direct puncture technique: An Observational Study. Indian JNephrol. 2010;53(3):479-491.

De Sousa Morais N, Pereira JP, Mota P, Carvalho-Dias E, Torres JN, Lima E. Percutaneous nephrostomy vs ureteral stent for hydronephrosis secondary to ureteric calculi: impact on spontaneous stone passage and health-related quality of life-a prospective study. Urolithiasis. 2018;16(4):257–260.

Jiang H, Huang D, Yao S, Liu S. Improving drainage after percutaneous Nephrolithotomy based on health-related quality of life: a prospective randomized study. J Endourol. 2017;31(11):1131–8.

Joshi HB, Adams S, Obadeyi OO, Rao PN. Nephrostomy tube or ‘JJ’ ureteric stent in ureteric obstruction. Assessment of patient perspectives using quality-of-life survey and utility analysis. Eur Urol. 2001;39:695.

Mokhmalji H, Braun PM, Martinez Portillo FJ, Siegsmund M, Alken P, Köhrmann KU. Percutaneous nephrostomy versus ureteral stents for diversion of hydronephrosis caused by stones: a prospective, randomized clinical trial. J Urol. 2001;165:1088.

Zhao PT, Hoenig DM, Smith AD, Okeke Z. A randomized controlled comparison of nephrostomy drainage vs ureteral stent following percutaneous Nephrolithotomy using the Wisconsin StoneQOL. J Endourol. 2016;30(12):1275–84.

Ramsey S, Robertson A, Ablett MJ, Meddings RN, Hollins GW, Little B, et al. Evidence-based drainage of infected hydronephrosis secondary to ureteric calculi. J Endourol. 2010;24:185.

Zi Hao Xu, Yan Hao Yang, et al. Percutaneous nephrostomy versus retrograde ureteral stent for acute upper urinary tract obstruction with urosepsis. Journal of infection. 2013;29(12):1225.

O. Shoshany, T. Erlich, et al. Ureteric stent versus percutaneous nephrostomy for acute ureteral obstruction - clinical outcome and quality of life: a bi-center prospective study. Eur Urol. 2013;39: 700.

Stables DP, et al. Percutaneous nephrostomy – Technique, indications and results. Urol Clin North Am. 1982;9:15–29.

Watson RA, Esposito M, Richter F, Irwin RJ Jr, Lang EK. Percutaneous nephrostomy as adjunct management in advanced upper urinary tract infection. Urology. 1999;54:234–239.

Pryor JL, Langley MJ, Jenkins AD. Comparison of symptom characteristics of indwelling ureteral catheters. J Urol. 1991;145:719–722.

Thomas R, et al. Indwelling ureteral stents: Impact of material and shape on patient comfort. J Endourol. 1993;7:137–140.