BACKGROUND: Previous studies have demonstrated relationships between case volumes and outcomes in surgery. Little is known about the impact of case volumes on the outcomes of percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL). OBJECTIVE: To investigate the influence of case volumes on the efficacy and safety outcomes of PCNL. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: From November 2007 to December 2009, prospective data were collected by the Clinical Research Office of the Endourological Society from consecutive patients over a 1-yr period in 96 centers globally. Data of 3933 patients in the Global PCNL study database were included in this study. OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS AND STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: Patients were divided into low- and high-volume groups based on the median annual case volume of their respective treatment center. Preoperative characteristics and outcomes were compared between the two groups. Case volume was treated as a continuous variable. The relationship between case volume and stone-free (SF) rate, complication rate, and duration of hospital stay was explored using multivariate regression analysis. RESULTS AND LIMITATIONS: SF rates were higher in high-volume centers (82.5% vs 75.1%; p value 120 cases per year. CONCLUSIONS: Centers that perform high numbers of PCNLs per year achieve better results. Both the efficacy and safety outcomes of PCNL improve with the number of surgeries performed in a given center per year.
European Urology, 2012, Vol 62, Issue 6, p. 1181-1187