World Journal of Urology

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 133–142 | Cite as

Pressure matters 2: intrarenal pressure ranges during upper-tract endourological procedures

  • Theodoros TokasEmail author
  • Andreas Skolarikos
  • Thomas R. W. Herrmann
  • Udo Nagele
  • Training and Research in Urological Surgery and Technology (T.R.U.S.T.)-Group
Invited Review



To perform a review on the latest evidence related to intrarenal pressures (IRPs) generated during upper-tract endourology, and present different tools to maintain decreased values, to decrease complication rates.


A literature search was performed using PubMed, restricted to original English-written articles, including animal, artificial model and human studies. Different keywords were: percutaneous nephrolithotomy, PCNL, ureteroscopy, URS, RIRS, irrigation flow, irrigation pressure, intrarenal pressure, intrapelvic pressure and renal-pelvic pressure.


IRPs reported during retrograde intrarenal surgery (RIRS), PCNL, miniPCNL, and microPCNL range 40.8–199.35, 3–40.8, 10–45 and 15.37–41.21 cm H2O, respectively. By utilizing ureteral access sheaths (UASs) IRPs usually remain lower than 30 cm H2O at an irrigation pressure (IP) of ≤ 100 cm H2O but could increase to > 40 cm H2O at an IP of 200 cm H2O. By utilizing the minimally invasive PCNL system, IRPs remain low at 20 cm H2O even at high IPs. Utilizing endoluminal isoproterenol during RIRS, could reduce IRP increases with a rate of 27–107%, and maintain low IRPs values, usually below 50 cm H2O.


Increased IRP values have been reported during RIRS and UASs constitute the most efficient tool for decreasing them. IRPs during mini-PCNL can be decreased utilizing the vacuum-cleaner and purging effects but might remain uncontrolled during micro- and ultra-mini PCNL. Intraluminal pharmacological treatment could play a role in IRP decrease, with isoproterenol being the most studied agent.


Percutaneous nephrolithotomy PCNL Ureteroscopy URS RIRS Irrigation flow Irrigation pressure Intrarenal pressure Intrapelvic pressure Renal-pelvic pressure 


Author contributions

TT: Data management, data analysis, manuscript writing. AS: Interpreting data. TRWH: Interpreting data. UN: Protocol/project development and Interpreting data.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and animal rights

This review does not involve human participants and/or animals.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Urology and AndrologyGeneral Hospital Hall in TirolHall in TirolAustria
  2. 2.Second Department of Urology, Sismanoglio General HospitalAthens Medical SchoolAthensGreece
  3. 3.Department of Urology, Kantonspital FrauenfeldSpital Thurgau AGFrauenfeldSwitzerland

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