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BMJ Open. 2017 May 4;7(4):e015002. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-015002.

What is the best analgesic option for patients presenting with renal colic to the emergency department? Protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Pathan SA1,2,3, Mitra B2,3,4, Romero L5, Cameron PA2,3,4.

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Emergency Department, Hamad General Hospital, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar.
Department of Epidemiology & Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.
National Trauma Research Institute, The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Australia.
Emergency & Trauma Centre, The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Australia.
The Ian Potter Library, The Alfred, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.



Patients with renal colic present to the emergency department in excruciating pain. There is variability in practice regarding the choice of initial analgesic to be used in renal colic. The aim of this article is to outline the protocol for review of the efficacy and safety of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), opioids and paracetamol use in renal colic pain management.


This is the protocol for a systematic review, comparing efficacy of NSAIDs, opioids and paracetamol in renal colic studied under randomised controlled trial (RCT) design. This protocol reporting is based on the PRISMA-P recommendations (PRISMA-P-checklist). We will conduct a comprehensive literature search for both peer-reviewed and grey literature published until 18 December 2016. Using a predefined search strategy, MEDLINE, Embase and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials will be searched. Additional searches will include WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform, abstract list of relevant major conferences and the reference lists of relevant publications. Two authors will independently screen and identify the studies to be included. The RCT comparing NSAIDs versus opioids or paracetamol will be included in the review, if the age of participants in the study was >16 years and they presented with moderate to severe renal colic. Any disagreement between the screening authors will be resolved through discussion and reaching consensus; if not, a third reviewer will arbitrate. Quantitative data from homogeneous studies will be pooled in the meta-analysis using RevMan V.5.3 software. The findings of this review will be presented according to the guidelines in the Cochrane Handbook of Systematic Reviews of Interventions and the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis statement.


Formal ethics approval is not required, as primary data will not be collected. We plan to publish the result of this review in a peer-reviewed journal.


Analgesia; NSAIDS; Opioids; Paracetamol; Renal colic; Urolithiasis

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