Author(s): ChingFang Wu, ChihShou Chen, WeiYu Lin, JiaJen Shee, ChunLiang Lin
Objectives To compare the safety and cost-effectiveness of ureterorenoscopic holmium:yttrium-aluminum-garnet (YAG) laser lithotripsy (URSL) with extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) for proximal ureteral stones.
Methods This investigation assessed 220 patients with upper ureteral stones. Those in the ESWL group were treated on an outpatient basis using the Medispec Econolith 2000 (Medispec, Germantown, Md) under intravenous sedation. URSL was performed with a 6/7.5F semirigid tapered ureterorenoscope and holmium:YAG laser under spinal anesthesia on an inpatient basis. A successful outcome was defined as the patient being stone free on radiography 1 month after treatment. The stone size, success rate, postoperative complications, and cost were evaluated in each group.
Results A total of 220 patients were enrolled in this study. Hematuria and flank pain were the most common complaints in each group. The mean stone burden ± SD was 58.7 ± 3.1 mm2 in the ESWL group and 108.4 ± 10.0 mm2 in the URSL group (P = 0.000). The accessibility of the semirigid ureterorenoscope for upper ureteral stones was 98.1% (101 of 103), and the stone-free rate achieved after one treatment was 83.2% (84 of 101). The initial stone-free rate of in situ ESWL was 63.9% (76 of 119). Significantly, the initial stone-free rate of the URSL group was superior to that of the ESWL group (P = 0.001). The average cost in the URSL group appeared to be lower than that in the ESWL group (P = 0.000).
Conclusions The results of this study have demonstrated that URSL achieved excellent results for upper ureter calculi. In terms of cost and effectiveness, this procedure should be the first-line therapy for proximal ureter stones.Medical & Surgical Urology