To Dust or Not To Dust: a Systematic Review of Ureteroscopic Laser Lithotripsy Techniques

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Purpose of Review

This review discusses factors affecting outcomes during ureteroscopy (URS) with laser lithotripsy (LL), explores specific clinical challenges to the efficacy of URS LL, and reviews the available literature comparing the dusting and basketing approaches to URS LL.

Recent Findings

Data show high stone-free rates with URS LL in all locations of the urinary tract and with all stone types and sizes. Recent data comparing LL with dusting versus basketing suggest higher rates of residual fragments with dusting but less utilization of ureteral access sheaths and potentially shorter operative times. Differences in postoperative complications, re-intervention rates, and other outcome parameters are not yet clear. Interpretation of published data is problematic due to variability in laser settings, follow-up intervals, and definitions for what constitutes stone-free status.


URS has overtaken shock wave lithotripsy in the last decade as the most commonly utilized surgical approach for treating urolithiasis. Two primary strategies have emerged as the most common techniques for performing LL: dusting and basketing. There is a relative paucity of data examining the difference in these techniques as it pertains to peri-operative outcomes and overall success. We attempt to synthesize this data into evidence-based and experience-based recommendations.

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    Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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    Correspondence to Wesley A. Mayer.

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    Javier E. Santiago, Adam B. Hollander, and Samit D. Soni each declare no potential conflicts of interest.

    Richard E. Link reports occasional consulting for Boston Scientific.

    Wesley A. Mayer reports reimbursement from Boston Scientific for a trip to the Boston Scientific Plant.

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    Dusting vs. Cracking (MP4 200329 kb)

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    Dusting vs. Cracking (MP4 200329 kb)

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    Santiago, J.E., Hollander, A.B., Soni, S.D. et al. To Dust or Not To Dust: a Systematic Review of Ureteroscopic Laser Lithotripsy Techniques. Curr Urol Rep 18, 32 (2017) doi:10.1007/s11934-017-0677-8

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    • Urolithiasis
    • Dusting
    • Basketing
    • Ureteroscopy
    • Residual fragments
    • Laser lithotripsy