Changes in practice patterns of nephrolithiasis in the era of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic: A review

Mohammad Hout, Robert Marcovich, Hemendra Shah

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose of review The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic led to a drastic change in healthcare priorities, availability of resources and accommodation of different needs and scenarios. We sought to review the effect of the pandemic on different aspects of nephrolithiasis. Recent findings The pandemic resulted in a significant impact on management of patients with nephrolithiasis around the world. A significant decrease in patient presentation and differences in strategies of management to truncate exposure and surgery time and expedite patient discharge deferring definitive management has been noted. Moreover, new safety measures such as COVID-19 PCR testing prior to surgery and limiting any intervention for COVID-19 positive patients to only life-saving scenarios has been implemented. Different emergency triaging proposals are being used, mainly including high risk patients with septic shock or complete obstruction/renal injury. Moreover, the emergence of telehealth has changed outpatient practice dramatically with a significant adoption to minimize exposure. Lastly, the effect of COVID-19 on renal physiology has been described with significant potential to cause morbidity from immediate or delayed acute kidney. No physiological effect on stone formation has yet been described, and transmission through urine is rare. Summary The COVID-19 pandemic has markedly shifted the treatment of nephrolithiasis in many ways, including emergency triage, outpatient care, and definitive management. Although various approaches and algorithms proposed are meant to optimize management in the time of the pandemic, further studies are required for validation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)158-164
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent opinion in urology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Coronavirus disease 2019
  • Nephrolithiasis
  • Telehealth
  • Urolithiasis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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