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Are urological patients at increased risks of developing haemostatic complications following shock wave lithotripsy (SWL) for solitary unilateral kidney stones?INTRODUCTION & OBJECTIVES: During the past two years there has been an increase in the number of patients undergoing shock wave lithotripsy (SWL) in Welsh hospitals (United Kingdom) for solitary unilateral kidney stones. Serious complications of SWL include haematuria, acute kidney injury and sepsis. Currently, there are no simple blood tests available, which can predict complications following SWL. Here we have tested the hypothesis that SWL will result in changes to haemostatic function, increase endothelial and haemostatic involvement postoperatively. MATERIAL & METHODS: In this pilot study, ten patients undergoing SWL for solitary unilateral kidney stones, were recruited (n=10). From patients (6 male and 4 female) aged between 31-70 years (mean=50 years), venous blood samples were collected pre-operatively (baseline), at 30 minutes, 120 minutes and 240 minutes postoperatively. Specific haemostatic biomarkers [D-dimer, von Willebrand Factor (vWF), Prothrombin time and sE-selectin] were measured. RESULTS: D-dimer and vWF concentrations were significantly increased from baseline at 240 minutes postoperatively (p=0.05 and <0.01 respectively). Prothrombin time and sE-selectin parameters were not significantly changed following SWL. CONCLUSIONS: The observed increase in D-dimer and vWF concentrations suggests that these markers would provide a more clinically relevant assessment of the extent of haemostatic involvement due to surgery. Analysis of such markers, have the potential to improve the detection of complications occurring postoperatively, such as haematuria and acute kidney injury.