The most important step of percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL) is planning the puncture site. A well selected puncture will facilitate nephroscopic navigation and stone clearance. The traditional methods for planning the puncture are intravenous urogram or retrograde pyelogram. Either of these imaging tools is adequate, but new tools such as 3D reconstructed tomography should be more accurate. Many recently developed imaging tools are promising, but no one is still ideal. The imaging techniques that we currently use have specific advantages and disadvantages. The purpose of this review is to summarise different imaging tools and their effectiveness prior to PCNL.
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