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Urology. 2004 Dec;64(6):1111-5.

Does tamsulosin enhance lower ureteral stone clearance with or without shock wave lithotripsy?

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Department of Urology, Gazi University School of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey.



To evaluate whether alpha1-blockers have any impact on stone clearance in patients with lower ureteral stones who underwent either shock wave lithotripsy (SWL) or were followed up with standard hydration, analgesics, and anti-inflammatory treatment.


A total of 78 patients (56 men and 22 women) who had lower ureteral stones located at the distal 5 cm of the ureter were divided into four groups. The first group consisted of 30 patients (38.5%) with stones less than 5 mm (range 3 to 5) who were randomly divided into two subgroups. Group 1 consisted of 15 patients (19.2%) who were followed up with oral hydration and diclofenac sodium. Group 2 consisted of 15 patients (19.2%) who received tamsulosin 0.4 mg daily in addition to the standard regimens. The second two groups consisted of 48 patients (61.5%) with stones greater than 5 mm (range 6 to 15) who underwent SWL. These patients were also randomly divided between those who did not (group 3, n = 24) and those who did (group 4, n = 24) receive tamsulosin 0.4 mg daily. All patients were re-evaluated with plain abdominal x-rays and helical computed tomography 15 days after the beginning of treatment.


Of the 78 patients, 36 (46.2%) became stone free. The stone-free rate was 20%, 53.3%, 33.3%, and 70.8% for group 1, 2, 3, and 4, respectively. The best results were achieved in those who underwent SWL plus tamsulosin treatment (group 4). The differences between the stone-free rates for groups 3 versus 4 (P = 0.019) and the tamsulosin versus control groups (P = 0.0015) were statistically significant.


The addition of tamsulosin to conventional treatment seemed beneficial in terms of stone clearance of lower ureteral stones, and this effect was more evident for larger stones, especially when combined with SWL.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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