Publications by authors named "Gabriel Niculescu"

4 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Treatment of Ureteral Stent-Related Symptoms.

Urol Int 2021 Nov 2:1-16. Epub 2021 Nov 2.

Division of Urology, Department of Oncology, School of Medicine, San Luigi Hospital, University of Turin, Turin, Italy.

Background: The aim of the study was to assess the effectiveness of the main classes of drugs used at reducing morbidity related to ureteric stents.

Summary: After establishing a priori protocol, a systematic electronic literature search was conducted in July 2019. The randomized clinical trials (RCTs) selection proceeded in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines and was registered (PROSPERO ID 178130). The risk of bias and the quality assessment of the included RCTs were performed. Ureteral Stent Symptom Questionnaire (USSQ), International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS), and quality of life (QoL) were pooled for meta-analysis. Mean difference and risk difference were calculated as appropriate for each outcome to determine the cumulative effect size. Fourteen RCTs were included in the analysis accounting for 2,842 patients. Alpha antagonist, antimuscarinic, and phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitors significatively reduced all indexes of the USSQ, the IPSS and QoL scores relative to placebo. Conversely, combination therapy (alpha antagonist plus antimuscarinic) showed in all indexes of the USSQ, IPSS, and QoL over alpha antagonist or antimuscarinic alone. On comparison with alpha blockers, PDE inhibitors were found to be equally effective for urinary symptoms, general health, and body pain parameters, but sexual health parameters improved significantly with PDE inhibitors. Finally, antimuscarinic resulted in higher decrease in all indexes of the USSQ, the IPSS, and QoL relative to alpha antagonist. Key message: Relative to placebo, alpha antagonist alone, antimuscarinics alone, and PDE inhibitors alone have beneficial effect in reducing stent-related symptoms. Furthermore, there are significant advantages of combination therapy compared with monotherapy. Finally, PDE inhibitors are comparable to alpha antagonist, and antimuscarinic seems to be more effective than alpha antagonist alone.
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November 2021

Percutaneous Kidney Puncture with Three-dimensional Mixed-reality Hologram Guidance: From Preoperative Planning to Intraoperative Navigation.

Eur Urol 2021 Nov 16. Epub 2021 Nov 16.

Division of Urology, Department Of Oncology, School of Medicine, University of Turin, San Luigi Hospital, Orbassano, Turin, Italy.

Background: Despite technical and technological innovations, percutaneous puncture still represents the most challenging step when performing percutaneous nephrolithotomy. This maneuver is characterized by the steepest learning curve and a risk of injuring surrounding organs and kidney damage.

Objective: To evaluate the feasibility of three-dimensional mixed reality (3D MR) holograms in establishing the access point and guiding the needle during percutaneous kidney puncture.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This prospective study included ten patients who underwent 3D MR endoscopic combined intrarenal surgery (ECIRS) for kidney stones from July 2019 to January 2020. A retrospective series of patients who underwent a standard procedure were selected for matched pair analysis.

Surgical Procedure: For patients who underwent 3D MR ECIRS, holograms were overlapped on the real anatomy to guide the surgeon during percutaneous puncture. In the standard group, the procedures were only guided by ultrasound and fluoroscopy.

Measurements: Differences in preoperative and postoperative patient characteristics between the groups were tested using a χ test and a Kruskal-Wallis test for categorical and continuous variables, respectively. Results are reported as the median and interquartile range for continuous variables and as the frequency and percentage for categorical variables.

Results And Limitations: Ten patients underwent 3D MR ECIRS. In all cases, the inferior calyx was punctured correctly, as planned using the overlapping hologram. The median puncture and radiation exposure times were 27 min and 120 s, respectively. No intraoperative or major postoperative complications occurred. Matched pair analysis with the standard ECIRS group revealed a significantly shorter radiation exposure time for the 3D MR group (p < 0.001) even though the puncture time was longer in comparison to the standard group (p < 0.001). Finally, use of 3D MR led to a higher success rate for renal puncture at the first attempt (100% vs 50%; p = 0.032). The main limitations of the study are the small sample size and manual overlapping of the rigid hologram models.

Conclusions: Our experience demonstrates that 3D MR guidance for renal puncture is feasible and safe. The procedure proved to be effective, with the inferior calyx correctly punctured in all cases, and was associated with a low intraoperative radiation exposure time because of the MR guidance.

Patient Summary: Three-dimensional virtual models visualized as holograms and intraoperatively overlapped on the patient's real anatomy seem to be a valid new tool for guiding puncture of the kidney through the skin for minimally invasive treatment.
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November 2021

Urethral-sparing Robot-assisted Simple Prostatectomy: An Innovative Technique to Preserve Ejaculatory Function Overcoming the Limitation of the Standard Millin Approach.

Eur Urol 2021 08 5;80(2):222-233. Epub 2020 Oct 5.

Department of Urology, "San Luigi Gonzaga" Hospital, University of Turin, Orbassano (Turin), Italy.

Background: Despite recent technical innovations in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), retrograde ejaculation is still one of the most frequent adverse effects, with a major impact on patients' quality of life.

Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of our technique of urethral-sparing robotic-assisted simple prostatectomy (usRASP) in obtaining effective deobstruction and maintaining anterograde ejaculation, and secondarily, to compare these outcomes with those of a control group of patients who underwent standard robotic adenomectomy according to the Millin technique.

Design, Setting, And Participants: We prospectively enrolled patients between August 2017 and July 2019 with large BPH (prostate volume >80 ml) affected by significant BPH-related lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) who underwent usRASP. Then, a retrospective control group treated with standard Millin robotic-assisted simple prostatectomy (RASP) was selected.

Surgical Procedure: The innovative aspect of our technique is the pivotal role of enucleation of the adenoma from all the anatomical structures, especially from the urethra. On the basis of the final results, the patients were divided into three groups (full, partial, or failed urethral sparing). Control group patients underwent standard Millin.

Measurements: All perioperative and follow-up data were collected, and descriptive, univariate, and multivariate analyses were performed.

Results And Limitations: Ninety-two patients were enrolled. Full urethral-sparing adenomectomy was performed in 56 cases (60.86%). Urethral-sparing adenomectomy with minimal urethral infraction occurred in 21 cases (22.82%). In 15 patients (16.48%), the procedure was converted to standard RASP. Clavien grade ≥3 complications occurred in two patients (2%). Among the 70 patients with preoperative ejaculation, 57 (81%) maintained anterograde ejaculation at the 12th postoperative month. The maximum flow rate increased (17 m/s from baseline, p =  0.034), and International Prostate Symptom Score decreased rapidly (from 20 to 5 points; p <  0.001). With respect to the technique of the control group patients, usRASP allows the same perioperative and urinary functional outcomes, but with an improvement in terms of sexual function, especially for the ejaculation (p <  0.001 at every time point). A small sample size and short follow-up time are the major limitations of this study.

Conclusions: Urethral-sparing RASP has been found to be a safe and effective procedure that allows resolution of LUTS in large BPH and maintaining of ejaculatory function in a high percentage of patients.

Patient Summary: Based on our findings, this technique should be considered as an option when counseling patients with large benign prostatic hyperplasia who are motivated to preserve antegrade ejaculation.
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August 2021

3D imaging applications for robotic urologic surgery: an ESUT YAUWP review.

World J Urol 2020 Apr 27;38(4):869-881. Epub 2019 Aug 27.

Division of Urology, Department of Oncology, School of Medicine, San Luigi Hospital, University of Turin, Regione Gonzole 10,, 10043, Orbassano, Turin, Italy.

Context: Despite the current era of precision surgery in robotics, an unmet need still remains for optimal surgical planning and navigation for most genitourinary diseases. 3D virtual reconstruction of 2D cross-sectional imaging has been increasingly adopted to help surgeons better understand the surgical anatomy.

Objectives: To provide a short overview of the most recent evidence on current applications of 3D imaging in robotic urologic surgery.

Evidence Acquisition: A non-systematic review of the literature was performed. Medline, PubMed, the Cochrane Database and Embase were screened for studies regarding the use of 3D models in robotic urology.

Evidence Synthesis: 3D reconstruction technology creates 3D virtual and printed models that first appeared in urology to aid surgical planning and intraoperative navigation, especially in the treatment of oncological diseases of the prostate and kidneys. The latest revolution in the field involves models overlapping onto the real anatomy and performing augmented reality procedures.

Conclusion: 3D virtual/printing technology has entered daily practice in some tertiary centres, especially for the management of urological tumours. The 3D models can be virtual or printed, and can help the surgeon in surgical planning, physician education and training, and patient counselling. Moreover, integration of robotic platforms with the 3D models and the possibility of performing augmented reality surgeries increase the surgeon's confidence with the pathology, with potential benefits in precision and tailoring of the procedures.
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April 2020