Complications of Ureteral Stent Placement

http://radiographics.rsna.org/content/22/5/1005.full
Raymond B. Dyer, MD ; Michael Y. Chen, MD ; Ronald J. Zagoria, MD ; John D. Regan, MD ; Charles G. Hood, MD ; Peter V. Kavanagh, MD

1From the Department of Radiology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Medical Center Blvd, Winston-Salem, NC 27157-1088. Recipient of a Certificate of Merit award for an education exhibit at the 2001 RSNA scientific assembly. Received January 24, 2002; revision requested March 6 and received March 20; accepted March 30.

The recent increase in usage of ureteral stents in the management of a variety of urinary tract disease processes mandates familiarity with these devices, their consequences, and their potential complications, which at times can be devastating. Radiology plays an important role in the routine monitoring of stents and in the evaluation of these consequences and complications. It may also offer solutions for their correction. Stents should be monitored while in place, promptly removed when no longer needed, and changed periodically if chronically indwelling. Risk factors for complications should be minimized with high fluid intake, timely evaluation of clinical complaints, and aggressive treatment of documented infection. Certain patients may not be best served by indwelling stent placement, and urinary diversion by means of other mechanisms may be indicated. The implanting physician is responsible for informing the patient of the requirements, consequences, and complications associated with stent placement. Failure to do so has obvious management and potential medicolegal implications.