Cost-effectiveness of extracorporeal shock-wave lithotripsy Academic Article Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Lupus Erythematosus, Discoid
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic
  • Pregnancy Complications


  • A study was done comparing the charges and outcomes for extracorporeal shock-wave lithotripsy (ESWL) with those for percutaneous nephrostolithotomy (PCN), which was the treatment of choice at our hospital for stones of the upper urinary tract when ESWL was introduced. Using a retrospective cohort design, patients were matched for age, sex, physical status index (American Society of Anesthesiologists), stone size, and urinary tract obstruction. Twenty-nine pairs of PCN and ESWL patients with complete data were matched. The groups were not significantly different in the matching parameters. Seventy-two per cent of patients in each group (21/29) were stone-free after the initial hospitalization. PCN patients required more auxiliary procedures per patient than did the ESWL patients; in addition, 5 (17%) of the PCN patients had perforation of the renal pelvis and 5 (17%) required transfusions. On discharge, 48 per cent (14/29) of the PCN patients had nephrostomies compared with none of the ESWL patients. The ESWL group had a shorter mean length of stay (2.9 vs 8.7 days, p less than 0.0005) and lower charges in all categories. Total charges were significantly less for ESWL ($9,290 vs $11,796 for PCN, p less than 0.005) as were physicians' fees ($3,391 vs $5,607, p less than 0.0005), room and board charges ($825 vs $2,164, p less than 0.0005), and operating room fees ($313 vs $1,452, p less than 0.0005). We conclude that ESWL is a cost-effective means for treating stones of the kidney and upper urinary tract.

publication date

  • January 1988



  • Academic Article


Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/0090-4295(88)90146-X

PubMed ID

  • 3126589

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 225

end page

  • 30


  • 31


  • 3