Original Paper

Urological Research

, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 133-137

First online:

Efficacy of expulsive therapy using nifedipine or tamsulosin, both associated with ketoprofene, after shock wave lithotripsy of ureteral stones

  • S. MicaliAffiliated withDepartment of Urology, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia
  • , M. GrandeAffiliated withDepartment of Urology, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia Email author 
  • , M. C. SighinolfiAffiliated withDepartment of Urology, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia
  • , S. De StefaniAffiliated withDepartment of Urology, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia
  • , G. BianchiAffiliated withDepartment of Urology, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia

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Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) is currently considered one of the main treatments for ureteral stones. Some studies have reported the effectiveness of pharmacologic therapies (calcium antagonists or alpha-blockers) in facilitating ureteral stone expulsion after ESWL. We prospectively evaluated the efficacy, after ESWL, of nifedipine on upper-middle ureteral stones, and tamsulosin on lower ureteral stones, both associated to ketoprofene as anti-edema agent. From January 2003 to March 2005 we prospectively evaluated 113 patients affected by radiopaque or radiolucent ureteral stones. Average stone size was 10.16 ± 2.00 mm (range 6–14 mm). Thirty-seven stones were located in the upper ureter, 27 in the middle ureter, and 49 in the lower ureter. All patients received a single session of ESWL (mean number of shock waves: 3,500) by means of a Dornier Lithotripter S (mean energy power for each treatment: 84%). Both ultrasound and X-ray were used for stone scanning. After treatment, 63 of 113 patients were submitted to medical therapy to aid stone expulsion: nifedipine 30 mg/day for 14 days administered to 35 patients with upper-middle ureteral stones (group A1) and tamsulosin 0.4 mg/day for 14 days administered to 28 patients with stones located in the distal ureter (group A2). The remaining 50 patients were used as a control group (29 upper–middle ureteral stones—B1—and 21 lower ureteral stones—B2—), receiving only pain-relieving therapy. No significant difference in stone size between the groups defined was observed. Stone clearance was assessed 1 and 2 months after ESWL by means of KUB, ultrasound scan and/or excretory urography. A stone-free condition was defined as complete stone clearance or the presence of residual fragments smaller than 3 mm in diameter. The stone-free rates in the expulsive medical therapy group were 85.7 and 82.1% for the nifedipine (A1) and tamsulosin (A2) groups respectively; stone-free rates in the control groups were 51.7 and 57.1% (B1 and B2, respectively). Five patients (14.3%) in group A1, 5 (17.8%) in group A2, 14 (48.3%) in group B1 and 9 (42.8%) in group B2 were not stone-free after a single ESWL session and required ESWL re-treatment or an endoscopic treatment. Medical therapy following ESWL to facilitate ureteral stone expulsion results in increased 1- and 2-month stone-free rates and in a lower percentage of those needing re-treatment. The efficacy of nifedipine for the upper-mid ureteral tract associated with ketoprofene makes expulsive medical therapy suitable for improving overall outcomes of ESWL treatment for ureteral stones.


Urolithiasis ESWL Expulsive therapy