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PURPOSE: The STudy to Enhance uNderstanding of sTent-associated Symptoms (STENTS) sought to identify risk factors for pain and urinary symptoms, as well as how these symptoms interfere with daily activities after ureteroscopy for stone treatment.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This prospective observational cohort study enrolled patients aged ≥12 years undergoing ureteroscopy with ureteral stent for stone treatment at 4 clinical centers. Participants reported symptoms at baseline; on postoperative days (POD) 1, 3, 5; at stent removal; and day 30 post-stent removal. Outcomes of pain intensity, pain interference, urinary symptoms, and bother were captured with multiple instruments. Multivariable analyses using mixed-effects linear regression models were identified characteristics associated with increased stent-associated symptoms (SAS).
RESULTS: A total of 424 participants were enrolled. Mean age was 49 years (SD 17); 47% were female. Participants experienced a marked increase in SAS on POD 1. While pain intensity decreased ∼50% from POD 1 to POD 5, interference due to pain remained persistently elevated. In multivariable analysis, older age was associated with lower pain intensity(p=0.004). Having chronic pain conditions(p<0.001), prior severe stent pain(p=0.021), and depressive symptoms at baseline(p<0.001) were each associated with higher pain intensity. Neither sex, stone location, ureteral access sheath use, nor stent characteristics were drivers of SAS.
CONCLUSIONS: In this multicenter cohort, interference persisted even as pain intensity decreased. Patient factors (e.g., age, depression) rather than surgical factors were associated with symptom intensity. These findings provide a foundation for patient-centered care and highlight potential targets for efforts to mitigate the burden of SAS.