I am a founding member of the Stanford Urolithiasis Project, where we have studied population health datasets to examine surgical outcomes and environmental risk factors in urinary stone disease. Our current focus includes socioeconomic and ethnic disparities in kidney stone disease, water quality and stone disease, pregnancy in kidney stone disease and geographical variations in kidney stones incidence and metabolic kidney stone work up. As a Clinical Assistant professor of urology and Director of the Stanford Kidney Stones center I have performed 300-400 surgeries per year for kidney stones since joining the faculty in 2015.

Clinical Focus

  • Urology

Academic Appointments

Administrative Appointments

  • Director, Stanford Kidney Stones Program (2015 - Present)
  • Associate Residency Program Director, Stanford University Department of Urology (2015 - Present)

Professional Education

  • Board Certification: Urology, American Board of Urology (2018)
  • Residency:Stanford University Dept of Urology (2015) CA
  • Residency:Stanford University - General Surgery (2011) CA
  • Internship:Stanford University - Dept of Surgery (2010) CA
  • Medical Education:University of California San Francisco (2009) CA

All Publications

  • Payer Type, Race/Ethnicity, and the Timing of Surgical Management of Urinary Stone Disease. Journal of endourology Brubaker, W. D., Dallas, K., Elliott, C. S., Pao, A. C., Chertow, G., Leppert, J. T., Conti, S. L. 2018


    PURPOSE: Surgery for upper tract urinary stone disease is often reserved for symptomatic patients and those whose stone does not spontaneously pass after a trial of passage. Our objective was to determine whether payer type or race/ethnicity is associated with the timeliness of kidney stone surgery.MATERIALS AND METHODS: Population-based cohort study using the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development dataset from 2010 to 2012. We identified patients who were discharged from an emergency department with a stone diagnosis and who subsequently underwent a stone surgery. Primary outcome was time from emergency department discharge to urinary stone surgery in days. Secondary outcomes included potential harms resulting from delayed stone surgery.RESULTS: Over the study period, 15,193 patients met the inclusion criteria. Median time from emergency department discharge to stone surgery was 28 days. On multivariable analysis patients with Medicaid, Medicare, and self-pay coverage experienced adjusted mean increases of 46%, 42%, and 60% in time to surgery, respectively, when compared with private insurance. Additionally, patients of Black and Hispanic race/ethnicity, respectively experienced adjusted mean increases of 36% and 20% in time to surgery relative to their white counterparts. Prior to a stone surgery, underinsured patients were more likely to revisit an emergency department three or more times, undergo two or more CT imaging studies, and receive upper urinary tract decompression.CONCLUSIONS: Underinsured and minority patients are more likely to experience a longer time to stone surgery after presenting to an emergency department and experience potential harm from this delay.

    View details for PubMedID 30343603

  • Minimizing the Cost of Treating Asymptomatic Ureterolithiasis UROLOGY PRACTICE Lamberts, R. W., Lines, E., Conti, S. L., Leppert, J. T., Elliott, C. S. 2018; 5 (3): 172–78
  • A Novel Method for Repositioning Suboptimally Preoperatively Placed Nephrostomy Tubes for Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy Without Renal Repuncture JOURNAL OF ENDOUROLOGY Barghouthy, Y., Kourmpetis, V., Dekalo, S., Bar-Yosef, Y., Conti, S., Greenstein, A., Sofer, M. 2018


    Nephrostomy tubes (NTs) inserted in emergency settings by interventional radiologists are frequently unsuitable for subsequent percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL). We report a novel method of adjusting these NTs to be used as PCNL tracts and avoid renal repuncture.A retrospective search of 981 consecutive PCNLs performed in our institution between 2002 and 2017 identified all patients with preoperatively inserted NTs. The NTs unsuitable for PCNL were adjusted by a novel approach in which a 5-mm incision was made at the ideal puncture location (IPL) as indicated under fluoroscopic guidance. The preinserted NT was removed after passing a guidewire into the kidney. A dissector clamp was introduced through the entry wound of the removed NTs to bluntly dissect a retroperitoneal tunnel and pull out the distal tip of guidewire through the IPL, while its proximal segment was maintained in the kidney. The newly positioned guidewire was used for PCNL tract preparation without repuncturing the kidney.The NTs were located in the mid calix, lower calix, and renal pelvis in 6 (26%), 13 (57%), and 4 (17%) cases, respectively. The NT was suitable for PCNL in 5 (22%) cases, a new renal access was performed in 3 (13%), and the novel adjustment approach was used in 15 (65%), all successfully. The place of entry was moved an average of 6 cm (range 47) and the angle between the tract axis and the calix axis was reduced by 65° in average. The procedure was done uneventfully in an average of 4 minutes.The novel method of adjusting preoperatively inserted NTs for PCNL by repositioning their original entry location to the IPL offers the possibility of avoiding kidney repuncture. It is feasible, safe, and easy to implement, and it spares potential morbidity related to additional puncturing of the kidney.

    View details for PubMedID 29325429

  • Unplanned Emergency Department Visits and Hospital Admissions Following Ureteroscopy: Do Ureteral Stents Make a Difference? Urology Mittakanti, H. R., Conti, S. L., Pao, A. C., Chertow, G. M., Liao, J. C., Leppert, J. T., Elliott, C. S. 2018


    The comparative effectiveness of ureteral stents placed during ureteroscopy for urinary stone disease is widely debated. We sought to evaluate unplanned medical visits within the early post-operative period after ureteroscopy in patients with and without ureteral stent placement.We identified all ureteroscopic procedures for urinary stone disease in the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) database from 2010-2012. The primary outcome was any emergency department visit or inpatient hospital admission in the first 7 days following ureteroscopy. Patients were sub-categorized by type of ureteroscopy (i.e. laser lithotripsy versus basket retrieval) and analyzed for significant differences between stented and unstented patients. Multivariable logistic regression was performed to determine if ureteral stent placement was independently associated with unplanned visits.Our analytic cohort included 16,060 patients undergoing 17,716 ureteroscopy procedures. A ureteral stent was placed in 86.2% of patients undergoing laser lithotripsy, and 70.5% of patients receiving basket retrieval. In the 7 days following ureteroscopy, 6.6% of patients were seen in the emergency department and 2.2% of patients were admitted to a hospital. In a fully adjusted model, the utilization of a ureteral stent was not associated with emergency department visits or inpatient admissions.Ureteral stent placement during ureteroscopy is not associated with an increased odds of emergency department visits and inpatient admissions in the early post-operative period.

    View details for PubMedID 29601836

  • Defining the Rate of Negative Ureteroscopy in the General Population Treated for Upper Tract Urinary Stone Disease. Journal of endourology Lamberts, R. W., Conti, S. L., Leppert, J. T., Elliott, C. S. 2017; 31 (3): 266-271


    Ureteroscopy is increasingly used to treat upper tract urinary stone disease. A negative ureteroscopy is a ureteroscopy performed with the intent of removing a kidney or ureteral stone, but in which ultimately no stone is removed. Negative ureteroscopy may occur when the stone is found to have already passed, or the presumed stone is found to be outside of the collecting system. We sought to determine the rate of negative ureteroscopy in a large population-based sample as well as factors associated with its use.We examined nonpublic data from the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) Database for all patients in California undergoing outpatient surgery from 2010 to 2012. We identified all patients with an International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) diagnosis code for upper tract urinary stone disease, who underwent a ureteroscopic procedure. After excluding patients undergoing second look procedures or who had diagnosis codes for separate urologic pathology, the negative ureteroscopy rate was defined as the proportion of those ureteroscopy cases coded as a diagnostic ureteroscopy. We fit logistic regression models to evaluate patient factors associated with negative ureteroscopy.During the years 2010 to 2012, 20,236 eligible patients underwent ureteroscopic procedures for upper tract stone disease. Of these, 1287 patients underwent diagnostic ureteroscopy and 19,039 underwent ureteroscopy with stone removal accounting for a negative ureteroscopy rate of 6.3%. The odds of receipt of a negative ureteroscopy rate were higher in females compared to males (odds ratio [OR] 1.41, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.25, 1.58) and lower in self-pay patients compared with insured patients (OR = 0.55, 95% CI 0.33, 0.91).Negative ureteroscopy is common, occurring in nearly 1 in 16 procedures to treat urinary stone disease.

    View details for DOI 10.1089/end.2016.0751

    View details for PubMedID 28049343

  • Redefining the Stone Belt: Precipitation is Associated with Increased Risk of Urinary Stone Disease. Journal of endourology Dallas, K. B., Conti, S. L., Liao, J. C., Sofer, M., Pao, A. C., Leppert, J. T., Elliott, C. S. 2017


    Objectives The American Southeast has been labeled the "Stone Belt" due to its relatively high burden of urinary stone disease, presumed to be related to its higher temperatures. However, other regions with high temperatures (e.g. the Southwest) do not have the same disease prevalence as the southeast. We seek to explore the association of stone disease to other climate-associated factors beyond temperature including precipitation and temperature variation.We identified all patients who underwent a surgical procedure for urinary stone disease from the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) databases (2010-2012). Climate data obtained from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was compared to population adjusted county operative stone burden, controlling for patient and county demographic data as potential confounders.A total of 63,994 unique patients underwent stone procedures in California between 2010-2012. Multivariate modeling revealed higher precipitation (0.019 average increase in surgeries per 1000 persons per inch, p<0.01) and higher mean temperature (0.029 average increase in surgeries per 1000 persons per degree, p<0.01) were both independently associated with an increased operative stone disease burden. Controlling for county level patient factors did not change these observed effects. Conclusion In the state of California, higher precipitation and higher mean temperature are associated with increased rates of stone surgery. Our results appear to agree with the larger trends seen throughout the United States where the areas of highest stone prevalence have warm wet climates, and not warm arid, climates.

    View details for PubMedID 28830242

  • Inflatable Penile Prosthesis Placement, Scratch Technique and Postoperative Vacuum Therapy as a Combined Approach to Definitive Treatment of Peyronie's Disease JOURNAL OF UROLOGY Antonini, G., De Berardinis, E., Del Giudice, F., Busetto, G., Lauretti, S., Fragas, R., Chung, B. I., Conti, S. L., Giannarelli, D., Sperduti, I., Gross, M. S., Perito, P. E. 2018; 200 (3): 642–47


    Peyronie's disease is a devastating condition resulting in penile malformation, erectile dysfunction, pain and emotional distress. In this prospective, 2 institution study we evaluated a multimodal surgical and mechanical combined approach to the definitive treatment of Peyronie's disease and concomitant erectile dysfunction.A total of 145 select patients underwent endocavernous disruption of Peyronie's disease plaques via the scratch technique, followed by inflatable penile prosthesis insertion. Postoperatively patients were assigned to vacuum device therapy for 3 minutes twice daily to continue penile curvature correction. Followup continued for 1 year after surgery. Anatomical and functional results were assessed.Patients with plaques in the proximal third, middle third and subcoronal areas of the penis had a mean ± SD postoperative residual curvature of 21.5 ± 4.5, 17.3 ± 4.8 and 14.1 ± 3.1 degrees, respectively. After 24 weeks of vacuum therapy the mean penile curvature deviation decreased to 8.7 ± 2.5, 9.1 ± 2.9 and 7.7 ± 0.9 degrees, respectively. The mean IIEF-5 (International Index of Erectile Function) score was 9.8 ± 2.3 preoperatively, 18.9 ± 3.1 at 6 months (p <0.001) and 24.1 ± 3.6 at 1 year (p <0.001). The mean EDITS (Erectile Dysfunction Inventory of Treatment Satisfaction) score at the end of followup was 64.6 ± 11.8. Operative and postoperative complications were minimal.Our novel combination of intraoperative and postoperative therapies in the treatment of patients with Peyronie's disease and an inflatable penile prosthesis was safe and efficacious with excellent functional outcomes. Penile curvature corrections were statistically significant and complications were negligible.

    View details for PubMedID 29678456

  • Distal Corporal Anchoring Stitch: A Technique to Address Distal Corporal Crossovers and Impending Lateral Extrusions of a Penile Prosthesis. journal of sexual medicine Antonini, G., Busetto, G. M., Del Giudice, F., Ferro, M., Chung, B. I., Conti, S. L., Suarez Sarmiento, A., Pacchiarotti, A., De Berardinis, E., Perito, P. E. 2017; 14 (6): 767-773


    Unidentified distal crossovers, delayed distal crossovers, and impending lateral extrusion are complications of penile prosthesis implant insertion but are not as common as prosthesis infection or mechanical failure.To evaluate results of a surgical technique, the distal corporal anchoring stitch, that addresses fixation of the penile prosthesis in patients with these complications.A lateral sub-coronal incision is used on the side where the crossover or laterally extruding cylinder should be positioned. Dissection is carried through the Buck fascia, followed by a transverse incision of the tunica albuginea, where the distal aspect of the affected cylinder is delivered. A 4-0 PDS suture is threaded through the distal cylinder ring of the implant. A new, properly positioned intracorporal channel is created and the suture is passed through the distal end of the channel. Once the suture is through the glans and the cylinder is in the correct position, a small cruciate incision is made on the glans at the location of the anchor stitch. The suture is tied with the knot buried in the glans tissue.Fifty-three patients underwent treatment of their distal penile implant crossover with a distal corporoplasty using this method and their anatomic and functional outcomes and overall satisfaction were evaluated.This technique ensured that the cylinder remained in the newly created, appropriately positioned channel. No patients developed infections, wound-healing defect, glandular hypoesthesia, anesthesia, or altered sensation or pain in the glans related to the suture and only two reported recurrence of a lateral herniation that did not require further treatment.Distal fixation of the penile prosthesis is a useful surgical adjunct to treating patients with prosthetic lateral extrusions or crossovers that can be applied in almost all cases.Considering these rare complications, our experience is based on a relatively large number of patients and showed a low incidence of complications and a high satisfaction rate. The main limitation of this study is the retrospective nature of the data and the series included patients from two high-volume surgeons that might not be generalizable to all practices.The distal corporal anchoring stitch is safe and effective in securing distal fixation of the extruding inflatable penile prosthesis. Antonini G, Busetto GM, Del Giudice F, et al. Distal Corporal Anchoring Stitch: A Technique to Address Distal Corporal Crossovers and Impending Lateral Extrusions of a Penile Prosthesis. J Sex Med 2017;14:767-773.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jsxm.2017.04.669

    View details for PubMedID 28583338

  • Paternal aging and increased risk of congenital disease, psychiatric disorders, and cancer ASIAN JOURNAL OF ANDROLOGY Conti, S. L., Eisenberg, M. L. 2016; 18 (3): 420-424


    As couples are increasingly delaying parenthood, the effect of the aging men and women on reproductive outcomes has been an area of increased interest. Advanced paternal age has been shown to independently affect the entire spectrum of male fertility as assessed by reductions in sperm quality and fertilization (both assisted and unassisted). Moreover, epidemiological data suggest that paternal age can lead to higher rates of adverse birth outcomes and congenital anomalies. Mounting evidence also suggests increased risk of specific pediatric and adult disease states ranging from cancer to behavioral traits. While disease states associated with advancing paternal age have been well described, consensus recommendations for neonatal screening have not been as widely implemented as have been with advanced maternal age.

    View details for DOI 10.4103/1008-682X.175097

    View details for Web of Science ID 000374857800024

    View details for PubMedID 26975491

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4854094

  • Hyperhomocysteinemia as an Early Predictor of Erectile Dysfunction: International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) and Penile Doppler Ultrasound Correlation With Plasma Levels of Homocysteine. Medicine Giovannone, R., Busetto, G. M., Antonini, G., De Cobelli, O., Ferro, M., Tricarico, S., Del Giudice, F., Ragonesi, G., Conti, S. L., Lucarelli, G., Gentile, V., De Berardinis, E. 2015; 94 (39)


    Erectile dysfunction (ED) is inability to achieve and maintain an erection to permit satisfactory sexual activity. Homocysteine (Hcys) is a sulfur-containing amino acid synthesized from the essential amino acid methionine. Experimental models have elucidated the role of hyperhomocysteinemia (HHcys) as a strong and independent predictor for atherosclerosis progression and impaired cavernosal perfusion.The aim of this study is to investigate the serum levels of Hcys in our cohort of patients with ED, to compare these values with these of control population and to examine Hcys as a predictive marker for those patients who are beginning to complain mild-moderate ED.A total of 431 patients were enrolled in the study. The whole cohort was asked to complete the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) questionnaire. The study population was divided in 3 main groups: Group A: 145 patients with no ED serving as a control group; Group B: 145 patients with mild or mild-moderate ED; Group C: 141 patients with moderate or severe ED. Each participant underwent blood analysis. All patients underwent baseline and dynamic penile Doppler ultrasonography.We found in our cohort mean Hcys plasma concentrations significantly higher than the cut-off point in both groups B and C (18.6 ± 4.7 and 28.38 ± 7.8, respectively). Mean IIEF score was 27.9 ± 1.39, 19.5 ± 2.6, and 11.1 ± 2.5 for groups A, B, and C, respectively (P < 0.0001). In the penile Doppler ultrasonography studies, a high significant inverse correlation was detected between the mean values of the 10th minute's peak-systolic velocity (PSV) and Hcys levels for the groups B and C.This establishes a dose-dependent association between Hcys and ED. Furthermore, we showed that Hcys was an earlier predictor of ED than Doppler studies, as the Hcys increase was present in patients with mild ED even before abnormal Doppler values.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/MD.0000000000001556

    View details for PubMedID 26426624

  • Alterations in DNA methylation may be the key to early detection and treatment of schistosomal bladder cancer. PLoS neglected tropical diseases Conti, S. L., Honeycutt, J., Odegaard, J. I., Gonzalgo, M. L., Hsieh, M. H. 2015; 9 (6)

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pntd.0003696

    View details for PubMedID 26042665

  • Alterations in DNA methylation may be the key to early detection and treatment of schistosomal bladder cancer. PLoS neglected tropical diseases Conti, S. L., Honeycutt, J., Odegaard, J. I., Gonzalgo, M. L., Hsieh, M. H. 2015; 9 (6)

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pntd.0003696

    View details for PubMedID 26042665

  • Oncologic outcomes between open and robotic-assisted radical cystectomy: a propensity score matched analysis WORLD JOURNAL OF UROLOGY Ahdoot, M., Almario, L., Araya, H., Busch, J., Conti, S., Gonzalgo, M. L. 2014; 32 (6): 1441-1446


    To compare oncologic outcomes between open radical cystectomy (ORC) and robotic-assisted radical cystectomy (RARC) using propensity score (PS) matching of preoperative variables.A group of 51 consecutive patients who underwent RARC between 2009 and 2012 were matched by propensity scoring with an equal number of patients who underwent ORC. Patient demographics, clinical staging, pathologic staging, pathologic grading, histology, positive margin status, lymph node yield, duration of hospital stay, and overall survival were examined.PS-matched ORC and RARC cohorts demonstrated no significant differences with respect to preoperative variables, pathologic stage, grade, histology, metastasis at preoperative staging, and postoperative positive margin status. There were statistically significant differences in nodal status (66.7 % N0 for ORC vs. 80.4 % N0 for RARC, p = 0.039) and median lymph node yield (6 for ORC vs. 18 for RARC, p < 0.0001). No positive soft tissue margins were observed in the RARC group compared to 5.9 % in the ORC group (p = 0.332). There were no significant differences in mean duration of hospital stay or mean overall survival between ORC and RARC.ORC and RARC represent effective surgical approaches for the treatment of bladder cancer. Histopathologic outcomes for RARC compare favorably to ORC with respect to soft tissue margin rates and lymph node yield. These data suggest that RARC is an acceptable surgical approach for treatment of bladder cancer that can achieve outcomes that are equal or superior to those of ORC.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s00345-014-1242-4

    View details for Web of Science ID 000345336500010

  • Procedures needed to maintain functionality of adult continent catheterizable channels: a comparison of continent cutaneous ileal cecocystoplasty with tunneled catheterizable channels. journal of urology Redshaw, J. D., Elliott, S. P., Rosenstein, D. I., Erickson, B. A., Presson, A. P., Conti, S. L., McAdams, S., Nguyen, A., West, J. M., Brant, W. O., Myers, J. B. 2014; 192 (3): 821-826


    We compared the outcomes of various adult continent catheterizable channels in a multi-institutional setting.We retrospectively reviewed the records of all adults who underwent construction of a continent catheterizable channel at our 4 institutions from 2004 to 2013 and who had at least 6 months of followup. Patients were stratified by channel type, including continent cutaneous ileal cecocystoplasty or tunneled cutaneous channel, eg appendicovesicostomy, Monti channel, etc. The primary study outcome was the need for a secondary procedure to correct stomal leakage, catheterizable channel obstruction or stomal stenosis. Secondary outcomes were patient reported leakage and 30-day postoperative complications. We used Firth logistic regression to control for the heterogeneity induced by multiple institutions.A total of 61 patients were included in study, of whom 31 underwent continent cutaneous ileal cecocystoplasty. Mean age was 41.4 years (range 22 to 76). Median followup was 16 months. More patients with a tunneled channel required a secondary procedure than those with cecocystoplasty (15 of 30 or 50% vs 4 of 31 or 13%, OR 6.4, 95% CI 1.8-28). The total number of required secondary procedures was also greater for tunneled channels than for cecocystoplasty (27 vs 4). Of patients with cecocystoplasty 29% reported stomal leakage compared with 43% of those with a tunneled channel (p = 0.12). A high rate of postoperative complications was observed regardless of technique, including 40% for channels and 51.7% for cecocystoplasty.Patients with continent cutaneous ileal cecocystoplasty undergo fewer interventions to maintain the catheterizable channel than patients with a tunneled continent catheterizable channel.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.juro.2014.03.088

    View details for PubMedID 24657838

  • A new mouse model for female genital schistosomiasis. PLoS neglected tropical diseases Richardson, M. L., Fu, C., Pennington, L. F., Honeycutt, J. D., Odegaard, J. L., Hsieh, Y., Hammam, O., Conti, S. L., Hsieh, M. H. 2014; 8 (5)

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pntd.0002825

    View details for PubMedID 24786606

  • Utilization of cytoreductive nephrectomy and patient survival in the targeted therapy era. International journal of cancer. Journal international du cancer Conti, S. L., Thomas, I., Hagedorn, J. C., Chung, B. I., Chertow, G. M., Wagner, T. H., Brooks, J. D., Srinivas, S., Leppert, J. T. 2014; 134 (9): 2245-2252


    We sought to analyze utilization and survival outcomes of cytoreductive nephrectomy in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) before and after introduction of targeted therapy. We identified patients with metastatic RCC between 1993 and 2010 in the SEER registry and examined temporal trends in utilization. We performed a joinpoint regression to determine when changes in utilization of cytoreductive nephrectomy occurred. We fitted multivariable proportional hazard models in full and propensity score-matched cohorts. We performed a difference-in-difference analysis to compare survival outcomes before and after introduction of targeted therapy. The proportion of patients undergoing cytoreductive nephrectomy increased from 1993 to 2004, from 29% to 39%. We identified a primary joinpoint of 2004, just prior to the introduction of targeted therapy. Beginning in 2005, there was a modest decrease in utilization of cytoreductive nephrectomy. Cytoreductive nephrectomy was associated with a lower adjusted relative hazard (0.41, 95% confidence interval 0.34 to 0.43). Median survival among patients receiving cytoreductive nephrectomy increased in the targeted therapy era (19 versus 13 months), while median survival among patients not receiving cytoreductive nephrectomy increased only slightly (4 versus 3 months). Difference-in-difference analysis showed a significant decrease in hazard of death among patients who received cytoreductive nephrectomy in the targeted therapy era. Despite decreased utilization in the targeted therapy era, cytoreductive nephrectomy remains associated with improved survival. Prospective randomized trials are needed to confirm the benefit of cytoreductive nephrectomy among patients with metastatic RCC treated with novel targeted therapies. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

    View details for PubMedID 24135850

  • Prostate Size Does Not Predict High Grade Cancer JOURNAL OF UROLOGY Ngo, T. C., Conti, S. L., Shinghal, R., Presti, J. C. 2012; 187 (2): 477-480


    Several radical prostatectomy series have linked small prostates with high grade cancer based on the hypothesis that a small prostate results from a low androgen milieu that selects for less hormone dependent, more aggressive tumors. We previously reported that this association resulted from ascertainment bias from the performance characteristics of prostate specific antigen rather than from tumor biology in our radical prostatectomy cohort. In this study we analyzed this association in a more generalized population of men who underwent prostate needle biopsy.The prostate needle biopsy database at our institution was queried for all initial biopsies. Included patient characteristics were age, race, family history of prostate cancer, prostate specific antigen, abnormal digital rectal examination and prostate volume in ml on transrectal ultrasound. Multivariate logistic regression was used to determine the influence of prostate volume on the odds of high grade cancer.The study population included 1,295 patients during 2000 to 2010, of whom 582 (44.9%) had prostate cancer and 398 (30.7%) had high grade cancer. When all patients were pooled, the OR for high grade cancer was 0.85 (95% CI 0.78-0.92) for each 10 ml increase in prostate volume. When patients were divided by clinical T stage, the corresponding ORs for those with T1c disease was 0.83 (95% CI 0.74-0.93) and for those with T2 or greater disease it was 0.99 (0.98-1.00).The association between small prostates and high grade cancer exists only in men with clinical T1c (normal digital rectal examination) prostate cancer. It likely resulted from ascertainment bias due to the performance characteristics of prostate specific antigen rather than tumor biology.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.juro.2011.10.042

    View details for Web of Science ID 000299070400031

    View details for PubMedID 22177152

  • A pilot study to develop a prediction instrument for endocarditis in injection drug users admitted with fever AMERICAN JOURNAL OF EMERGENCY MEDICINE Rodriguez, R., Alter, H., Romero, K., Kea, B., Chiang, W., Fortman, J., Marks, C., Cheung, P., Conti, S. 2011; 29 (8): 894-898


    Seeking to evaluate the feasibility of a prediction instrument for endocarditis in febrile injection drug users (IDUs), we determined (1) the frequency percentage of IDUs admitted with fever diagnosed with endocarditis and (2) whether individual or combinations of emergency department (ED) clinical criteria (patient history, physical examination findings, and laboratory tests) are associated with endocarditis in IDUs admitted to rule out endocarditis.The ED and inpatient charts of all IDUs with a diagnosis of rule out endocarditis admitted at 3 urban hospitals in 2006 were reviewed. Screening performance of individual criteria was determined, and the most sensitive combination of criteria was derived by classification tree analysis.Of 236 IDUs admitted with fever, 20 (8.5%) were diagnosed with endocarditis. Lack of skin infection, tachycardia, hyponatremia, pneumonia on chest radiograph, history of endocarditis, thrombocytopenia, and heart murmur had the best screening performance. The classification tree-derived best criteria combination of tachycardia, lack of skin infection, and cardiac murmur had a sensitivity of 100% (95% confidence interval, 84%-100%) and negative predictive value of 100% (95% confidence interval, 88%-100%).Using ED clinical criteria, a multicenter prospective study to develop an instrument for endocarditis prediction in febrile IDUs is feasible, with an estimated target enrollment of 588 patients.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ajem.2010.04.006

    View details for Web of Science ID 000296057000009

    View details for PubMedID 20685064

  • Penile Sonographic and Clinical Characteristics in Men with Peyronie's Disease JOURNAL OF SEXUAL MEDICINE Smith, J. F., Brant, W. O., Fradet, V., Shindel, A. W., Vittinghoff, E., Chi, T., Huang, Y., Davis, C. B., Conti, S., Lue, T. F. 2009; 6 (10): 2858-2867


    Ultrasonography of the penis is readily available to the urologist and gives good anatomic detail of soft tissue structures. It has not been widely utilized in the assessment of Peyronie's disease (PD).To describe the sonographic characteristics of the penis in PD and the relationship between clinical and sonographic features.This cross-sectional study enrolled patients from a single clinical practice. A PD-specific questionnaire was administered and sonographic evaluations were performed.Sonographic characteristics of men with PD.Tunical thickening, calcifications, septal fibrosis, and intracavernosal fibrosis, were observed at initial clinical evaluation in 50%, 31%, 20%, and 15% of men, respectively. Men aged 40-49 (OR 2.4, P = 0.02) and men aged 50-59 (OR 2.4, P = 0.004) were more likely to have sub-tunical calcifications relative to men under age 40. Men with septal fibrosis had fewer chronic medical conditions such as diabetes (OR 0.3, P = 0.04), hypertension (OR 0.5, P = 0.03), and coronary artery disease (OR 0.2, P = 0.05), and presented within 1 year of disease onset (OR 2.1, P = 0.001). Men with septal fibrosis were less likely to have lost penile length (OR 0.5, P = 0.04) and more likely to be able to have intercourse (OR 1.9, P = 0.05). Men with intracavernosal fibrosis were less likely to have penile pain (OR 0.5, P = 0.05), but more likely to have penetration difficulty during intercourse (OR 1.9, P = 0.008), an additional penile deformity (OR 1.8, P = 0.02), or rapid onset of disease (OR 1.7, P = 0.04). Tunical thickening was associated with a decreased ability to have intercourse (OR 2.3, P < 0.001).PD is a clinically and sonographically heterogeneous condition. Sonography is a safe, low-cost, and rapid means of objectively characterizing lesions in this condition. This may help track the evolution of the condition in individual patients and in the future may be useful for tailoring treatment strategies.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2009.01438.x

    View details for Web of Science ID 000270311400028

    View details for PubMedID 19732312

  • Pathological Outcomes of Candidates for Active Surveillance of Prostate Cancer JOURNAL OF UROLOGY Conti, S. L., Dall'Era, M., Fradet, V., Cowan, J. E., Simko, J., Carroll, P. R. 2009; 181 (4): 1628-1633


    Active surveillance of prostate cancer has emerged as a viable treatment option for men with features of low risk disease. Five prospective studies have enrolled patients for active surveillance with varying inclusion criteria. We evaluated the pathological outcomes of men meeting published criteria for active surveillance who elected immediate radical prostatectomy to assess the risk of under grading and under staging in candidates for active surveillance.Data were extracted from our institutional urological oncology database for all men who underwent radical prostatectomy between 1996 and 2007. The primary outcome was pathological up staging, defined as the occurrence of extracapsular extension or seminal vesicle involvement. Pathological upgrading was identified as a secondary outcome. We determined the proportion of men who would have qualified for each published active surveillance study and the respective rates of upgrading and up staging in each group.We identified 1,097 men who underwent radical prostatectomy with a mean age of 59 years. Overall 28% of the men experienced a Gleason upgrade, 21% had extracapsular extension and 11% had seminal vesicle involvement. In men qualifying based on published active surveillance inclusion criteria, rates of upgrading varied between 23% and 35%, the incidence of extracapsular extension ranged from 7% to 19% and seminal vesicle involvement ranged from 2% to 9%.Varying entry criteria for active surveillance show different rates of adverse pathological features at radical prostatectomy. Predictably fewer men met the more stringent criteria but these men had a lower incidence of seminal vesicle involvement and extracapsular extension. Such data can be used to advise men of the risks of active surveillance.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.juro.2008.11.107

    View details for Web of Science ID 000264448200036

    View details for PubMedID 19233388

  • Risk factors for emotional and relationship problems in Peyronie's disease JOURNAL OF SEXUAL MEDICINE Smith, J. F., Walsh, T. J., Conti, S. L., Turek, P., Lue, T. 2008; 5 (9): 2179-2184


    Peyronie's disease (PD) occurs in 3-9% of all men. Little is known regarding the specific psychological or emotional disruptions to sexuality associated with PD.Our primary aim was to identify risk factors associated with psychosocial difficulties in men with PD.This cross-sectional study enrolled patients from a single clinical practice. Detailed medical histories, physical examinations, and a PD-specific questionnaire were used to define clinical characteristics. Odds ratios (ORs) were used as a measure of association.Emotional and relationship problems were determined by "yes" or "no" answers to two specific questions.The mean age of all PD patients (N = 245) was 54.4 years (range 19.4-75.6); 62% were married, and 59% presented within 2 years of disease onset. The overall prevalence of emotional and relationship problems attributable to PD was 81% and 54%, respectively. Among men who had relationship problems, the prevalence of emotional problems was 93%. In men with emotional problems due to PD, relationship issues were observed in 62%. Multivariable analysis revealed that emotional difficulties (OR 6.9, P < 0.001) and ability to have intercourse (OR 0.4, P = 0.004) were independently associated with relationship problems. Relationship problems (OR 8.0, P < 0.001) and loss of penile length (OR 2.7, P = 0.02) were significant independent predictors of emotional problems after adjustment for the ability to maintain erections, low libido, and penile pain.Among men with PD, there is a very high prevalence of emotional and relationship problems. Loss of penile length and inability to have intercourse are strong predictors of these problems and as such make ideal targets for intervention. Medical and surgical therapies may enhance quality of life through their ability to improve sexual function. Further research will characterize the ways in which individual symptoms affect emotional and psychological well-being.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2008.00949.x

    View details for Web of Science ID 000259150200021

    View details for PubMedID 18638001

  • Paleolithic Y-haplogroup heritage predominates in a Cretan highland plateau EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF HUMAN GENETICS Martinez, L., Underhill, P. A., Zhivotovsky, L. A., Gayden, T., Moschonas, N. K., Chow, C. T., Conti, S., Mamolini, E., Cavalli-Sforza, L. L., Herrera, R. J. 2007; 15 (4): 485-493


    The island of Crete, credited by some historical scholars as a central crucible of western civilization, has been under continuous archeological investigation since the second half of the nineteenth century. In the present work, the geographic stratification of the contemporary Cretan Y-chromosome gene pool was assessed by high-resolution haplotyping to investigate the potential imprints of past colonization episodes and the population substructure. In addition to analyzing the possible geographic origins of Y-chromosome lineages in relatively accessible areas of the island, this study includes samples from the isolated interior of the Lasithi Plateau--a mountain plain located in eastern Crete. The potential significance of the results from the latter region is underscored by the possibility that this region was used as a Minoan refugium. Comparisons of Y-haplogroup frequencies among three Cretan populations as well as with published data from additional Mediterranean locations revealed significant differences in the frequency distributions of Y-chromosome haplogroups within the island. The most outstanding differences were observed in haplogroups J2 and R1, with the predominance of haplogroup R lineages in the Lasithi Plateau and of haplogroup J lineages in the more accessible regions of the island. Y-STR-based analyses demonstrated the close affinity that R1a1 chromosomes from the Lasithi Plateau shared with those from the Balkans, but not with those from lowland eastern Crete. In contrast, Cretan R1b microsatellite-defined haplotypes displayed more resemblance to those from Northeast Italy than to those from Turkey and the Balkans.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/sj.ejhg.5201769

    View details for Web of Science ID 000245103100014

    View details for PubMedID 17264870