Is there a role for tamsulosin in shock wave lithotripsy for renal and ureteral calculi?

Departments of Urology and Biostatistics, Christian Medical College, Ida Scudder Road, Vellore, Tamil Nadu 632004, India.
The Journal of Urology (Impact Factor: 3.75). 07/2007; 177(6):2185-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.juro.2007.01.160
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We evaluated the effect of the alpha-blocker tamsulosin on stone clearance, analgesic requirements and steinstrasse in shock wave lithotripsy for solitary renal and ureteral calculus.
A prospective, double-blind, randomized placebo controlled study was performed during 1 year involving 60 patients with a solitary renal or ureteral calculus undergoing shock wave lithotripsy. The control group (30) received 0.4 mg tamsulosin and the study group (30) received placebo daily until stone clearance or for a maximum of 30 days. An oral preparation of dextropropoxyphene hydrochloride and acetaminophen was the analgesic used on an on-demand basis. The parameters assessed were stone size, position, clearance time, effect on steinstrasse and analgesic requirement.
The overall clearance rate was 96.6% (28 of 29) in the study group and 79.3% (23 of 29) in the control group (p = 0.04). With larger stones 11 to 24 mm the difference in the clearance rate was significant (p = 0.03) but not so with the smaller stones 6 to 10 mm (p = 0.35). The average dose of analgesic used was lower with tamsulosin than with controls, without statistical significance. Steinstrasse resolved spontaneously in the tamsulosin group whereas 25% (2 of 8) required intervention in the placebo group. There was no difference between the 2 groups with regard to age, stone size or location.
The alpha-blocker tamsulosin seemed to facilitate stone clearance, particularly with larger stones during shock wave lithotripsy for renal and ureteral calculus. It also appeared to improve the outcome of steinstrasse. Tamsulosin may have a potential role in routine shock wave lithotripsy.

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