Author(s): Hosni K Salem
Objectives To conduct a prospective randomized study comparing both techniques for the management of solitary radio-opaque upper ureteral stones < 2 cm in diameter. The ideal treatment for upper ureteral stones > 1 cm size remains to be determined with shock wave lithotripsy (SWL) and ureteroscopy (URS) being acceptable options.
Methods A total of 200 patients were included in the study. They were randomized into 2 equal groups. Group A underwent in situ SWL as a primary therapy. Group B underwent URS, using semirigid URS with intracorporeal lithotripsy. Efficiency quotient (EQ), cost analysis, and predictors of failure were estimated for both techniques.
Results For stones of size ≥ 1 cm, the initial stone-free rate for URS and SWL was 88% and 60%, respectively. The estimated EQ was 0.79 and 0.43 for both techniques respectively. For stones < 1 cm, the initial stone-free rate for URS and SWL was 100% and 80%, respectively. The estimated EQ was 0.88 and 0.70 for both techniques, respectively. The mean cumulative costs were significantly more in SWL group (P <.05). Predictors of URS failure included; male gender, failure to pass guidewire beyond the stone, and extravasation. Predictors of SWL failure included large stone size > 1 cm, calcium oxalate monohydrate stone, and higher degrees of hydronephrosis.
Conclusions URS with intracorporeal lithotripsy is an acceptable treatment modality for all proximal ureteral calculi, particularly stones > 1 cm. SWL should remain the first-line therapy for proximal ureteral calculi ≤ 1 cm because of the less invasive nature and lower anesthesia (i.v. sedation).Medical & Surgical Urology