Lead author Jesse Sammon of Henry Ford's Vattikuti Urology Institute and colleagues at the Henry Ford Hospital said the study involved nearly 400,000 adult patients hospitalized with infected urolithiasis -- kidney or urinary stones -- from 1999 to 2009.
Researchers then determined how often they were treated with either of two techniques -- retrograde ureteral catheterization and percutaneous nephrostomy.
In retrograde ureteral catheterization, a catheter is inserted through the ureter to drain blocked urine and relieve pressure on the kidney. With percutaneous nephrostomy, a surgical instrument is used to pierce the patient's back, and then the kidney.
The study, published in the journal European Association of Urology, found during the 10-year study period, the incidence of infected urolithiasis in women increased from 15.5 per 100,000, to 27.6. In men, there was an increase of 7.8 per 100,000, to 12.1 per 100,000. Related sepsis -- toxic response to infection -- rose from 6.9 percent of urolithiasis patients to 8.5 percent, and severe sepsis increased from 1.7 percent to 3.2 percent, the study said.
While higher rates of sepsis, severe sepsis and prolonged hospitals stays were found to be associated to percutaneous nephrostomy, the researchers cautioned that certain important variables required for comparison are not included in available data, Sammon said.