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Xanthogranulomatous pyelonephritis: a review and meta-analysis with a focus on management

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Christopher HardingORCiD


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© 2022, Crown.Purpose: Xanthogranulomatous pyelonephritis (XGP) is a rare form of pyelonephritis more commonly seen in females and diabetics. Frequently associated with renal tract calculi, it is often difficult to diagnose, as it can clinically and radiologically mimic other disorders. Most cases are treated with antibiotics and nephrectomy. The aim of our review is to summarise and analyse the current evidence focusing on management. Methods: A literature search was conducted to identify papers relating to xanthogranulomatous pyelonephritis in adults. Studies containing ten or more patients with XGP were included for descriptive analysis, and a meta-analyses of cohort studies conducted comparing open and minimally invasive nephrectomy undertaken. Other papers were included for narrative review. Results: 52 studies were identified, 20 were included for narrative review and 32 retrospective observational studies containing 868 patients were included for descriptive analysis. 99.8% of patients underwent nephrectomy, about one-third laparoscopically. The most commonly cultured organisms were Escherichia coli and Proteus mirabilis. 60% of patients, where reported, underwent preoperative drainage. Seven studies containing 211 patients were included for meta-analysis which found that postoperative complications, length of stay and transfusion requirements were all significantly reduced in those who underwent minimally invasive surgery. Conclusion: The mainstay management of XGP is antibiotic therapy and nephrectomy. Some studies highlight a role for preoperative upper urinary tract drainage, but evidence supporting this is limited. We present the first meta-analyses examining operative approach for patients undergoing nephrectomy for XGP. Though limited by the data available, our meta-analysis indicates minimally invasive nephrectomy for XGP provides better postoperative outcomes.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Gravestock P, Moore L, Harding C, Veeratterapillay R

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Urology and Nephrology

Year: 2022

Volume: 54

Pages: 2445–2456

Online publication date: 09/07/2022

Acceptance date: 03/06/2022

ISSN (print): 0301-1623

ISSN (electronic): 1573-2584

Publisher: Springer Science and Business Media B.V.


DOI: 10.1007/s11255-022-03253-x